Fohi students achieve high honors in welding; one senior will go to national finals | News

Several students at Fontana High School have achieved high honors in recent welding competitions, and one of those students is advancing to the national championship level.

Gabriel Molina, a senior, will represent Fontana at the SkillsUSA Nationals in Atlanta, Georgia in June after obtaining a gold medal in the category of combination welding in the state finals in Ontario in April.

Other Steeler students who were outstanding at the state event were Daniel Delgado (who earned a gold medal in the category of gas metal arc welding), Nathan Hernandez (who received a silver medal in combination welding), and Arely Cazares (a bronze medal winner in oxy-acetylene cutting).

Molina said he is very excited about the chance to go to Atlanta and is thankful for the help he has received from his teacher, Roberto Moreno, as well as his parents, team members, and friends.

Molina, who loves working with his hands and is always ready to try new challenges, started welding last year during online learning due to COVID-19 protocols and has quickly increased his skills.

“Never would I have thought welding would take me where I am today,” he said. “Welding has been very fascinating and intriguing.”

Molina, who works part-time as a pizza clerk at a local store in addition to keeping up with his studies at Fohi, is hoping to pursue welding as a full-time career after he graduates later this month.

Moreno is delighted that Molina and several other Fohi students have worked hard and excelled in the various categories of welding.

Earlier this year, the Steelers took top honors at the Student and Professional Welding Competition and Career Vendor Fair presented by the American Welding Society at the Iron Workers University, Local 433 in Fontana.

The event was open to the public and more than 30 professional welders and 70 student welders participated, and the Fohi students won the first through eighth place prizes.

Molina and Ivan Garcia both won $1,000 college scholarships at the event. The first place student winner, Marco Calzada, received a Miller Welding machine and the second through eighth place winners were given various equipment. They were Samuel Bugarin, Yomar Lagunes, Angel Aguilar, Nathan Hernandez, Jesus Rodriguez, Adrian Guzman, and Giovanni Maca.

For Molina, the trip to Atlanta will be quite expensive, and he is asking for donations from businesses or individuals in the community. Anyone interested in helping to sponsor Molina’s participation in the SkillsUSA Nationals is asked to contact his father, Ruben Molina, at

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