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Mohammad “Mo” Abuniaj

I always thought about becoming an Organist. In fact, when I was in high school, all I thought about was playing music; nothing else really interested me. Having said that, my father ended up receiving funds from the military after he retired to go toward education. He promised me that if I used that scholarship, then he would send me to a college of my choice for music. Unfortunately, music college did not meet the requirements needed, so the funding could not be used for that. I went through life kind of job hopping, and then when I was 32, I was in a bad car accident and lost my left arm. I never allowed this to be a setback for me. I came over to the U.S. in 2016.  I worked diligently to make a living for myself and my family. It wasn’t until 2021 that I decided welding might be a good idea to look into. I visited NCST, and they toured me in the welding lab. This inspired me. I was very excited about my next step in life. I know the instructors were a little apprehensive about a one-armed welder, but I assured them I would try my best to overcome the potential obstacles. Mr. Black, the day instructor, supported me throughout my entire program. He was always giving me positive and motivating talks. NCST was very helpful in every aspect, from sign up to the financial aid department to my instructors, and finally, the placement office who assisted me with finding employment in my field to begin my new career. I knew nothing about welding before coming to NCST, but as a graduate, I feel confident in saying I am a good welder and learning new things each day.

I am 46 and have six children. I would like to share how much NCST helped me go from a minimum-wage job to a career that allows me to make a great living for me and my family. My NCST journey has also had a positive impact on my kids; seeing their father overcome and succeed shows them they can do it if they try. If you want to do it, you can. Nothing is impossible if you truly want to make it happen.

Mohammad finished his time at NCST with a 3.94 GPA and a 95% attendance rate. He is now employed with Boardman Steel.