Mandan High School student's welding project goes viral

Published: Oct. 4, 2016 at 3:18 PM CDT
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All too often, what goes viral on social media is negative. Recently, however, a Mandan High School student gained some recognition for all the right reasons.

Damion Davenport didn't know a lot about welding when he started taking his Intro to Welding class. Now, he's getting recognized for not only his skill, but his patriotism as well.

Grinding and welding can be hard work, but Davenport says it allows him to express himself in the metal.

"It's nice because you can kind of like, do your own thing. You can create some cool stuff," says Davenport.

"They get to use their imagination, they get to use their creativity, they get to be up, walking around their classroom. They get to socialize," says Luke Mellmer, welding teacher.

With Mellmer's instruction Davenport has been able to make metal American flags. The Mandan Public School District posted a picture to its Facebook page, and soon enough, that post got nearly 600 shares, about 2,000 reactions and was seen by more than 130,000 people.

"It's kinda different. I've never really had that much attention before, but it's cool," says Davenport.

"We kind of expected a couple likes here and there, but it kind of blew up pretty big," says Mellmer.

A brand new machine for the Mandan welding class allows Damion to put this piece of metal into it, and then it cuts out nearly 700 identical starts for him to use on his flags.

And he'll need them. He's already got 22 orders to fill, which is good practice. Damion says he wants to pursue a career in welding after high school.

"College, especially for me, college isn't for everybody. So if you can pick up something that fits you better and you can still make money and be happy doing your job, just go for it," says Davenport.

Davenport's not even out of high school yet, and he's already building a client base doing what he likes.

If you'd like to order a flag, Davenport says to send him a message on his personal Facebook page. ​The welded flags are being sold for $200.