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Sculpting Greatness

This SkillsUSA New Mexico gold medalist from the Navajo Nation is building a future on his own terms. His two main tools? Passion and skills.
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Ryan proudly sports his SkillsUSA blazer and state gold medal, showing his sculpture of a 1967 Mustang in front of the Navajo Nation flag. Photo courtesy of Ryan Deschany.

For Ryan Deschany, welding is more than connecting pieces of metal together. The welding process is an artistic endeavor infused with skill and creativity. As a senior at Navajo Pine High School in New Mexico, Ryan won the state gold medal in Welding Sculpture with his beautiful rendition of a 1967 Ford Mustang. That accomplishment led to a trip to Atlanta in 2022 to compete in the SkillsUSA Championships, an experience that sparked an even greater passion for his craft. Ryan now attends the University of New Mexico at Gallup where he is studying Welding Technology under instructor Casey Tom. He plans a career as a welder that complements his desire to travel and create unique art through welding.

The Navajo Nation occupies portions of northeastern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico and southeastern Utah, occupying over 27,000 square miles as the largest reservation in the U.S., with approximately 298,000 enrolled members.

As the first gold medalist from his school, Ryan was recognized by former Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, who said, “This is a great achievement and a memorable time for Ryan, his family and all of our Navajo youth who aspire to achieve great things. Welding is a great skill that helps to build our communities and to provide for many families on the Navajo Nation. We have so many Navajo people who are skilled and talented welders, and Ryan is right up there with the best of them.”

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