2020 Recipients of the Nicole LeClair Welding Bursary Award

Woman of Steel participant welding a T joint in the horizontal position using the Shielded Metal Arc welding process.

Congratulations to the 2020 reciepients of the Nicole LeClair Welding Bursary Award!

  • Darby Durrant
  • Lucas Bushen
  • Cierra St. Germain
  • Lea Enders

Nicole LeClair shared a short write-up about each of the winners on her Facebook page. We’ve collected them here so you can get to know these ambitious and hard-working young people.

Darby Durrant hails from Temiskaming Shores and will be moving into residences at Cambrian College in Sudbury where she’ll be taking their 2 year Welding & Fabrication Technician program.  Her love of the trade started in high school where she took a four-credit High Skills Major Welding class that offered a co-op placement as well!  In her placement, she spent 6 weeks getting a great idea of weld life, as she fabricated fire pits and trailers and did other general fab work.  Her boss was impressed with her efficiency and she kept up to the rest of the crew with no issues.  She says welding makes her happy – I am glad it does and I am equally happy to be able to support you, Darby, as you enter this new chapter of your life.  After graduating, you’ll be even better equipped to get out there and find the job of your dreams, welding and fabricating to your heart’s content.  Wishing you much success!”

“Meet Lucas Bushen from Oakville, Ontario. Lucas will be entering Conestoga College’s 3 year Manufacturing Engineering Technology (Welding and Robotics) program in September.  In high school, he was inspired by his shop teacher who did a lot of interesting metal projects with his class, and even encouraged him to apply for this bursary.  Lucas represented his high school in the Halton Skills Welding Competition in 2019.  Lucas is also influenced and encouraged by his grandfather. Together, they have tackled several woodworking projects at his grandfather’s shop in California. During his summer holidays, Lucas also attended some cool welding camps in California for weeks at a time. While there, he was exposed to different forms of welding as well as blacksmithing and made some ornate pieces. These experiences fueled his passion to pursue welding, leading him to enrol in Conestoga’s program where he will be able to learn all aspects of this amazing trade over the next 3 years.  There are BIG things ahead for Lucas, I can tell!  I wish you all the best in your journey!”

Cierra St. Germain is a person who instantly had my attention as someone who fit my motto of “Strive. Persist. Be in it with all your heart”.  She spent her high school years at a school that was actually outside of her district, all so that she could attend their trades program they offered where she focussed on welding and commuted up to 2 hours daily just to pursue this program – that’s dedication for ya!  Through this, her love of welding grew and she knew she wanted to continue on to post-secondary welding education to learn even more about her favourite trade.  This charismatic and dedicated girl hails from Sudbury, Ontario and will be attending Cambrian College’s 2 year Welding and Fabrication Technician program.  Cierra, I know you will be successful and happy there, doing what you love.  I can’t wait to follow your education and future career in the wonderful world of welding!  Keep following your heart!”

Lea Enders lives in a small town in northern Ontario called Shuniah with a population of less than 3000 people.  She’ll be making the drive to Thunder Bay to attend Confederation College’s 1 year Welding Techniques program.  Her passion and resilience have sustained her in her goals and she is pursuing welding despite some challenges from people discouraging her on her path.  She’s ignored the naysayers and knows in her heart that welding is where she wants to be.  She’s also held down 3 jobs to meet the needs of attaining her goals.  Lea, I am happy to help support you on your journey to further your education and I look forward to one day hearing from you when you write your Red Seal test which I know is a goal of yours.  Another of Lea’s goals is to one day have her own Welding & Fabricating business.  You rock!  Keep striving and persisting and your dreams will become a reality!”

Read more about the bursary recipients in this article in the Daily Commercial News.

The Nicole LeClair Welding Bursary Award was created to support Welding students who are pursuing Welding at the post-secondary education level at a private or publicly funded institution within Ontario. The CWB Welding Foundation is pleased to support this award by hosting the application process.