In 2011, Jerry survived a spinal cord injury after attempting to take his own life (read more about Jerry’s story here). The experience and second chance at living that followed inspired Jerry to approach life in an entirely new way. WCMX was the outlet that allowed Jerry to become really active and develop a better understanding of himself.
Jerry says it was different before his injury when looking for a job because he would just take whatever he could get. “I’d probably just get any job, like some warehouse job. Some lousy job that I’d probably hate,” he shares.
But, post-SCI, Jerry feels like he had to dig a little deeper. He had to consider his talents and skill sets and couple those with what he was physically capable of doing. It’s not always an easy process, but it can be pretty powerful to learn new things about yourself.
“I had to really think about what else I could be good at. I always liked working with my hands, so I thought I could do some sort of construction. I’d considered woodworking, but never really pulled the trigger.”
Then, out of the blue, it came to him. While watching TV one day, Jerry saw a commercial for Mech-Tech Institute in his home-city of Orlando and decided to do a little research. “I was familiar with welding, and my brother welded sometimes. I thought it sounded cool, so I called the number and talked about the possibility of doing the program and eventually started the enrollment process,” Jerry recalls.
At one point in his program, Jerry had finished his assignment and instead of sitting there bored, he asked his instructor if he could make something out of scraps. He got the approval, so he looked through a pile of metal and pulled out some pieces. That day, he made a tiny, detailed skateboard and ignited a passion for metal art.
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Over the last couple years, Jerry has continued to hone his welding skills and is now able to make all sorts of incredible things out of metal objects – one of his favorites being a beautiful metal rose. He has even made trophies for WCMX tournaments!
A TALENT FOR WELDING EVOLVES INTO METAL ARTISTRY
Jerry Diaz embraces his passion for metal.
From concept to creation
Jerry received his professional certification in Industrial Welding in May and landed a great gig after graduation at a custom fabrication shop.