Twelve years ago, Zhiwei Blaubach’s life looked much different.
For starters, he lived in a Chinese orphanage more than 6,600 miles away. And could only speak one language.
That all changed in 2008 when Mark and Amy Blaubach travelled to China to adopt the 6-year-old boy. A few months after arriving in Minnesota, he endured the first of several surgeries to correct a cleft lip and palate.
There was also a language barrier to overcome.
“I had to quickly learn English because school started about two months after I arrived,” he said.
Now 18, the rising senior at Jefferson High School in Bloomington is still learning languages, something he said comes easily to him. He is teaching himself German and Russian, and says his big dream is to travel the world.
Blaubach is one of 15 students who were selected to participate in the Youth Career Awareness Program, a four-week summer program designed to provide under-represented youth with a chance to explore career paths at Dunwoody.
Welding immediately caught his attention. “Not only can it be a job, but it can be used as a hobby to make art,” Blaubach said. He is considering enrolling in Dunwoody to learn the craft when he graduates next spring.
It’s a career that potentially send you all over the world. The high salary that a fabricator can potentially earn is also appealing.
“I want to retire early and travel,” he said.