Welding sparks passion for Pike County student

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BELFRY, Ky. (WYMT) - With the many achievements of the students in the mountain region, celebrations of academics and athletics are common. Now, students in Pike County are reminding others that there is more to celebrate.

Lucas Justice, a senior at Pike County Central High School, said he spends six of his seven classes at Belfry Area Technology Center, where he learns trades from the technical professionals.

He said the center's welding program, led by instructor Jonathan Bogar, is the place he feels most comfortable.

"It's something I'm very passionate about," he said. "Just the peace of mind behind the hood. I can't explain it. It's just something I've always loved."

That passion earned him two consecutive first-place victories in the regional competition and at the state Skills USA competition.

Justice said planning for the future is also a contributing factor to his passion for welding.

"Even I didn't understand, when I started this, the kind of opportunities that came from these skilled trades. It's unbelievable the amount of money that you can make doing this," Justice said. "Whether it be diesel mechanics, carpentry, electricity, HVAC, it doesn't matter. Any of it. There's a lot of jobs out there."

He said time, effort and dedication are the keys to his success.

Justice will compete for a $10,000 scholarship on Aril 27 and will represent the state during a national competition in June.

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