Success isn’t given, it’s earned, and Christian Bailey-Steenport of Fond du Lac is using his drive and motivation to pave his path. He had a difficult upbringing with a traumatic home-life. As a result, he left home before finishing high school. The choices he made from there weren’t always the best, but it ultimately led him to where he is today.

“I had a horrible home life,” Christian said. “When I left, I ended up with the wrong crowd and eventually became a product of my environment.”

He needed a change in his life, but at the time didn’t have access to opportunities that could help turn his life around. It wasn’t long before Christian was in trouble with the law. 

“I wasn’t making good choices,” he said. “However, my time behind bars is ultimately what gave me the clarity and fresh start I needed.”

While Christian was in jail, he made solid goals and a plan to obtain them. When he was released on January 8, 2019, his first stop was Moraine Park Technical College’s Economic and Workforce Development Boot Camp program test drive.

The College’s test drive offers the opportunity to explore the welding and computerized numerical control (CNC) machining careers, meet potential employers, and receive valuable real-world opportunities. Christian immediately signed up for the welding boot camp. 

“Both my Grandpa and Dad were welders,” he said. “I had some background knowledge of the field and decided to learn more.”

Christian began his college career in February of 2019 and hasn’t stopped since.

“When I first came to Moraine Park, I was only interested in completing the welding boot camp,” he said. “I wasn’t interested in making friends. I wanted to focus only on my goals. It didn’t take long for my mindset to change, and I’m glad it did. I’m learning a lot, enjoying college, and I have made some great friends along the way.”

Christian completed the welding boot camp in May of 2019 and immediately enrolled in the welding technical diploma program. He is scheduled to graduate in December of 2020. He also has plans to earn his metal fabrication and automotive technician technical diplomas and has an interest in serving an industrial maintenance apprenticeship. His overall goal is to own a custom metal fabrication shop with his brother, who begins his boot camp journey in January 2020. 

“I am motivated to succeed,” Christian said. “I’ve overcome a lot in my life, and my college journey hasn’t always been easy, but I keep showing up. I’ve never missed a day of class-ever.”

Currently, Christian works full time at MEC, where he served his boot camp internship and was hired before graduation. He also attends school full time. He is busy but motivated, and that is the driving force that makes it all work for him. 

“I’ve had a lot of support from Moraine Park,” he said. “They helped me to succeed and ultimately have guided me through this new path. I’m proud of myself and look forward to accomplishing more.”

For more information about a career in CNC or Welding, visit morainepark.edu/bootcamp and sign up for one of the information and testing sessions in January 2020. These sessions are a required step to participating in the free boot camp program.