“Strike a Spark” Vanessa Barrett Welding Scholarship

We set up this scholarship in 2022 to honor Vanessa Barrett by supporting and encouraging people who might not be strong book learners, but have capability and desire to develop and achieve in demanding physical trades, such as welding.


The “Strike a Spark” Vanessa Barrett Welding Scholarship provides financial help to students enrolled in Laney College Welding Department classes. This scholarship was inspired by family member Vanessa Barrett, a Laney College Welding Department student during the early 2000s. She was captivated by the process of welding – the thrill of flying sparks and molten metal, the intense, meditative focus on the weld pool, and the satisfaction of lifting the hood to see a beautiful finished weld bead. Her interest in welding led to Laney College degrees, welding certifications, and ultimately a well-paid satisfying job.


The “Strike a Spark” Vanessa Barrett Welding Scholarship provides financial help to Laney College Welding Department students interested in a career in welding engineering and related fields. This scholarship is intended to help students become welding professionals who keep our roads, bridges, and infrastructure strong, safe, and standing.

Welders keep the country running! This scholarship committee recognizes that our society is functionally at a standstill without hands-on skills like welding, machining, carpentry, and electrician work. It’s critical that we train new career-technical workers to replace current workers who are retiring.

This scholarship was inspired by family member Vanessa Barrett, who attended the Laney College Welding Department during the early 2000’s.  Vanessa was interested in a technical hands-on career, and she was captivated by the process of welding.

Vanessa’s education was directly shaped by Rich Hashimoto and Dale Phillip, Laney College Welding Department heads.  These educators improve the course of lives for students like Vanessa!  Rich and Dale recognize their students’ interests and skills and encourage and inspire them to set and complete goals.  Vanessa’s opportunities and experience in Laney’s robust welding program increased her self-confidence and determination to complete multiple Laney College degrees, including an AS in Welding Technology and three American Welding Society Certifications in GMAW, SMAW, and GTAW.

You can Participate.

Here is your chance. You can donate directly to this scholarship fund. Click on Strike a Spark .

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