(BRECKENRIDGE, Texas) – Cage Bordelon wants to be the first in his family to accomplish two milestones.
First, he wants to be the first person in his family to graduate from college. Second, he plans to enlist in the U.S. Army.
Bordelon’s first goal will happen later this year when he earns a certificate of completion in Welding Technology at Texas State Technical College.
“I plan to enlist after I finish my certificate requirements,” Bordelon said. “I wanted to do something that was greater than myself — and that is serving my country.”
Bordelon said a classmate who is a U.S. Army veteran, Scott Rosignol, helped him reach his decision to enlist.
“I heard a lot of his stories and knew it was something that I wanted to do,” he said. “There is nothing better than serving our country.”
Rosignol said he used his prior experience as an Army recruiter to help Bordelon reach a career decision.
“I shared my experiences and knew he would be a good military person,” he said. “He will be ahead of a lot of the other enlistees because he will have some college credit under his belt. With that, he could advance a little faster than some other service members.”
Until the time he joins the military, Bordelon is working to complete the welding program in his hometown of Breckenridge. He has learned to be patient when working on projects.
“I have learned that things might get you frustrated,” he said. “When that happens, you have to take a step back and reevaluate your work and do it again. When the days are hotter and I get aggravated, I tell myself there is a whole new tomorrow coming and to come back with a fresh mindset.”
When he was a student at Breckenridge High School, Bordelon had enrolled in welding classes, knowing he could continue his training at TSTC.
“With me, the best part of welding is the hands-on experience we have in the lab,” he said. “If we mess up a plate, we get right back at it until it is done right. Practice does make perfect in this industry.”
Bordelon said talking with classmates, like Rosignol, helps him perfect his projects.
“We like to bounce our projects off each other,” he said. “I know that before I turn something in, a classmate will be able to tell me what I did wrong. We work together in order to succeed.”
Bordelon said having TSTC in his hometown is beneficial to local students and the community.
“Small towns need to have more hands-on programs like TSTC,” he said. “A lot of people in towns our size do not want to go to a university for four years. We want to be close to home and be able to work and study.”
Registration for the fall semester is underway. Scholarships are available. For more information, visit tstc.edu.