JAHMAL'S sTORY - JARC Baltimore
A Plan for the Future
Jahmal grew up in Baltimore City and was exposed to welding early on during his high school years where he attended Mergenthaler Vocational Technical School. He enjoyed working with his hands and learned a variety of different welding techniques in high school, but didn’t really think about pursuing a career in welding at the time. He went on and had a successful boxing career, got married and had 2 wonderful kids. Once he retired from boxing, he began looking for a new career path that would provide him with financial security so that he could plan for his future.
“After I left (boxing) I was like now what? I didn’t want to go to college because I needed to feel that adrenaline rush. I had to find something to fill that void.”
Traditional college didn’t feel like the right path for Jahmal, he was used to living a fast paced, mentally and physically challenging lifestyle. Being in the gym helped him learn how to focus, persevere and be mentally sharp.
“You got to stay sharp when you’re welding, or you can burn yourself or mess up a job….for me it was the next best thing outside of boxing, it keeps me sharp and you always got to be aware of your surroundings – just like boxing.”
Jahmal developed his leadership skills while working with other trainees in class. Because of his background and previous experience he was able to catch on pretty quickly to new techniques taught in the classroom.
“When I was in the program, I already knew how to weld from my high school years. I was kind of ahead of the class….So I wanted to just slow down and help the next person around me because we all came in together. So it’s like a team….Students sometimes take advice better from one of their classmates, rather than always having to go to the teacher.”
Jahmal is currently working two jobs – hoping to become a welding instructor one day so he can continue passing on his knowledge and passion for welding.