When Jeremy Dowdy left the Coast Guard, he went in search of his next career path. He considered ministry, law enforcement, computers, but nothing quite fit. Until he found welding.
"I wanted to do something hands-on," he said. "I love to build, and welding is building."
Jeremy completed all three welding certificates offered at Eastfield and worked as a lab assistant to professor Jeff Mitchell.
One June afternoon, he pulls and his gloves and welder's helmet to perform a demonstration for Mitchell's class.
"Masks down?" he asks the group clustered around a workstation in T-Building welding lab before igniting his torch, which emits a vivid blue flame.
"He's a great help to the program," Mitchell says.
Mitchell encouraged Dowdy to pursue an associate degree after completing his certificates at Eastfield, even though it meant continuing his coursework at Mountain View College.
Jeremy hadn't planned on more education.
"I thought I'd jump out in the industry and get a job right after I'm done," Jeremy said.
But he took Mitchell's advice and completed his associate degree in May 2019, just in time to apply for a job teaching welding at Mesquite High School.
"For me teaching is a blessing," he said. "When I first got out of the military, I wanted to work with youths. I thought I would get into juvenile detention, but that door never opened. But eight years later, this door for a high school teacher swings wide opens and I just walk though with ease and get the job."