Path Home News CareerTech Champions Issue 51 Charles, Kristen and Anna Whiting – Pontotoc Technology Center
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Charles, Kristen and Anna Whiting – Pontotoc Technology Center

Family bonds through welding

THEN: Mom and Dad wanted a simple life for their family. Living on a small farm in Chile, Charles and Kristen Whiting grew their own fruits and vegetables, raised a few horses and alpacas and lived a self-sustaining life. The Whitings had lived in Ada, Oklahoma, for several years, but they wanted their children to experience another culture and learn another language. They began using Ada as their home base, spending most of their time on the farm in South America.

 There is no road leading to their remote farm, so when something broke, it was hard for the family to get it repaired. They had a backlog of welding repairs that needed to be made, and it was difficult to find welders. The family decided they would learn to weld.

They came back to Pontotoc Technology Center and enrolled in welding through the Business and Industry Services program. Charles, Kristen and their 17-year-old daughter, Anna, enrolled in the class.

Through Pontotoc’s welding program, the family learned a variety of skills, including

  • MIG, TIG and stick welding.
  • Cutting with a torch.
  • Welding safety.

Kristen described the class as a game changer for her family, saying, “The instructors really went out of their way to think about what would be usable.”

NOW: The Whiting family is back in Chile, using their welding skills to make necessary repairs on their farm.

“This is going to make life so much better,” Kristen said.


“They showed us how to weld safely, which is what I was really looking for.”

Charles Whiting




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