How I got here:
I have a beautiful and devoted wife who has truly helped me become the man I am today. We have two incredible children, Jacob and Hannah. My son Jacob is 18 years old, a youth minister in training and freshman English Education major at Itawamba Community College in Fulton. He plays baritone in the marching band and plans to transfer to Blue Mountain with eventual plans to attend seminary. He will be travelling to Prague, Czechoslovakia, this coming summer to do mission work with the Baptist International Mission Board and is very devoted to his faith in God. My daughter Hannah is 10. She has white-blonde hair down to her waist and beautiful blue eyes with lots of cute freckles dotting her sweet face. She is active in cheer and Girl Scouts. She is also actively involved in our church programs such as GA’s and AWANA. She is a very feisty child, but usually has a smile on her face. We live on a farm and raise horses. After managing a family business for 15 years, I decided to acquire a different trade. Feeling like a career student, I am normally the oldest one in the class. I really enjoy the EMCC campus. I took a class at EMCC in 1996, so it was my first choice – beside the fact that it is ranked as one of the best welding schools in the area.
What I’ve accomplished:
I chose the welding program because I consider myself an artist. I like the idea of creating works of art to be enjoyed and used, things that are functional as well as aesthetically pleasing, whether it is a bush hog, bridge or bottle tree. As a member of Phi Theta Kappa, National Technical Honors Society and SkillsUSA, I feel as though I have taken advantage of all opportunities EMCC has to offer. My instructors are inspirational, always available, and push me hard in order to help me reach my full potential. They seem quite proud of me, and I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from instructors with first-hand knowledge and years of experience in my chosen trade.
My career goal is ultimately to teach welding to students such as myself. I hope to one day be as inspirational and knowledgeable for my students as my instructors have been for me. After graduation, I hope to enter the workforce as soon as possible and allow my wife the opportunity to complete her degree – in fact, I’m going to be teaching welding for ICC’s Workforce Services Division. I feel that I am always learning and that will never change. I hope to obtain my Certified Welding Inspector and Educator certification after a little more field training.
My advice to future students is to enjoy it while you can and take advantage of all there is to offer from EMCC by way of academics and electives, but beware of the grammar hammer. For the non-traditional students, just remember that age should never be an issue; a person is never too old to learn.
What his instructor, Gary Gammill, says:
Jessie is shining example of a great student. Never satisfied with the knowledge he has learned, Jessie is always working toward perfection! Welding up a test plate, fabricating a project or working with other students, he always gives 100 percent.
WCBI-TV came to commencement at EMCC's Golden Triangle campus on Friday, May 11, and filed a report, which features an interview with welding graduate Jesse Pounders. Click here to see the story.