Valley Student Looking to Persist in Male-Dominated Career Field

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HARLINGEN – Women in construction remain a minority with their male counterparts dominating the workforce. A local GEAR UP student says she’s doing her part to change that statistic.

From an early age, Kimberly Muniz was destined for a trade career.

“My parents would tell me to go outside, help them with anything and I was in Ag throughout my whole high school,” said Muniz.

She’s a second-semester student studying construction at Texas State Technical College in Harlingen.

Muniz makes up the minority in her class being one of the few females. A woman in construction isn’t a new concept for her.

“My mom would tell me also that she did something like this when she was probably in high school,” she said.

One of the on-campus GEAR UP facilitators, Joanna Gomez, says she takes pride in her students, especially when they have confidence going into an unlikely program.

“To go into a program and succeed, and now that they can do it whether they're a female in a male-dominated program or whether they're just in a STEM field where there's not so many people interested because it is a math and science,” Gomez said with enthusiasm. “Seeing them succeed on their own, it's pretty self-rewarding to watch.”

Muniz recounts feeling the weight of doubt when she first started courses that would lead her to her desired career field.

“When you first start, you don't think it's going to come out the way you think it is, but when you get closer to finishing it comes out great and you're happy with the work that it comes out with,” she said.

Muniz wants other females to go for it, “Everyone’s wrong. Girls can do it too.”

And not to hesitate to enter into a male-dominated industry.

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