2022 Spring Scholarship Recipients

Monday, June 13, 2022
By: Sidney Davis

For more information, please contact Randy Kish

The Precision Metalforming Association Educational Foundation (PMAEF) and the Chicago District of PMA are excited to announce the 2022 educational scholarship recipients! These recipients have shown an interest in continuing their careers in manufacturing through enrolling in academic courses or taking part in an apprenticeship/training program.


Spring 2022

Brandon Galanis  – College of Dupage, Welding Certificate

Scholarship Amount
- PMA Educational Foundation: $500
- Chicago District: $500
- District Bonus: $500
- Total: $1,500

Growing up, Brandon lived a very athletic life. Playing sports means joining new teams with kids that he had never met. He struggled tremendously with this. Brandon can recall joining his most recent baseball team and having tears in his eyes while walking onto the field to meet them. Stepping onto the field, a million thoughts were running through his mind. "Am I good enough for this team?" "Will they accept me?" "Will I get along with them?" When he got into the dugout, he regained his thoughts. He thought that he had played this game his whole life, and he would be fine. As he walked out to the field, the kids came up to him and acted as though they had known him forever. This made all of Brandon's jitters go away and made him feel welcomed. Being fearless and doing what you love will always be the best decision.

High school was a turning point for Brandon. Until high school, he only talked to people he was comfortable with and wouldn't reach out past that. Once he got to high school, he reunited with some friends he had played sports with from other neighborhoods. Connecting with these friends allowed him to meet their friends and expand his circle. It helped bring him out of his shell by talking to new people he usually would not have been comfortable with. He has faced his fear throughout high school by becoming more comfortable with talking to new kids and adults.

Last summer, Brandon obtained his first job working for Public Works in his town. He was terrified to start because he knew he would have to talk to many people regularly. Brandon thought about declining the job offer for weeks before starting the position. However, he decided to be brave and give it a chance, and it was the greatest decision that he has made so far in his life. He learned many hands-on skills, and the laborers gave him the opportunity to try new things and the confidence to take risks safely.

During his four years at East Leyden High School, he has been on the honor roll. Brandon knew early on in high school that a traditional four-year college was not something he was interested in. Instead, he knew that he wanted to work with his hands and go into a trade when he graduated. Leyden has many trade courses, and he took advantage of enrolling in many of them to see what he would be most interested in. Brandon's metals class was the most interesting to him, and it was a course that he was good at, so it came naturally to him. Brandon has a passion for the metalworking field and is looking forward to continuing to push himself not to give up.


Brenda Guerrero  – Trade School, CNC, Principal Manufacturing

Scholarship Amount
- PMA Educational Foundation: $250
- Chicago District: $250
- District Bonus: $250
- Total: $750



Brenda has always known that she's a hands-on person who enjoys solving problems since she was a child. Her dream job has always been a path in engineering, but she didn't know what kind of engineering until her junior year when she started Computer Integrated Manufacturing. She was immediately enamored with the class. Her class was online during quarantine, which was the only disadvantage. Later on, in her senior year of high school, she took CNC Mastery of Metals with the same teacher, this time in school, and she enjoyed her time with her and in the classroom. She plans to continue this pathway and pursue a career out of it.

Brenda's teacher takes pride in her work, and it is this pride that motivates Brenda to learn and do her best as well. She's learned how to read micrometers, calipers, dial indicators, and other instruments. On the lathes and mills, she's also worked and learned firsthand. When machining a part, she learned how to measure and keep inside tolerance. She's also experimented with simulators and learned how to write code. Her teacher is now waiting for their CNC machines to arrive, and she will shortly be teaching Brenda how to use them. According to Brenda, being a member of this class and receiving experiences that few people get has been an incredible experience.

In addition, she worked at Principal Manufacturing Corporation as an intern, where she learned a lot from other students who were or are presently enrolled in an Apprenticeship Program. With the use of a mill machine, she learned a little more in-depth. She cut steel and aluminum components to size and within tolerance. She also learned how to turn on a CNC machine and program it. She's also been given a job with the same company permanently.

Overall, Brenda is eager to begin working in this field and make a change. She is confident that she will achieve greatness and excellence while doing what she loves the most.