LONGVIEW - Kennedy Keer is not your average college student. By day, she’s an engineering student enduring a grueling academic schedule…and by evening she’s a two-sport athlete for LeTourneau University. An average day for her consists of hours of classroom instruction, followed by hours of welding, followed by hours of practice (soccer or cross country).

Although Kennedy is very much passionate about welding, she happened to fall into the trade by mistake. “I actually signed up for a baking class in high school and they misplaced me into welding class,” Keer stated. “I didn’t even know what welding was. I just learned to love welding. They offered to switch me in the baking class a week later, but I turned them down because I really loved it.”

And the rest is history.

Somehow Kennedy manages her time between her studies and participating in soccer and cross country. “Sleep is a hard thing. If I could sleep a normal amount and get at least two meals a day, I call it a good day,” Keer explained. Depending on her schedule for track meets and travel time, it’s common for her to stay up to the wee hours of the morning studying. But Kennedy perseveres and manages to excel on and off the field.

“Easiest way to describe Kennedy is that she’s a fighter,” stated her cross country coach Mesa Allison. “She is pushing herself farther and farther every single day and that’s what makes her so exceptional.”

The one thing that Kennedy attributes her motivation to is her faith. “Most of my drive comes from God. I feel like He brought me here for a reason. Brought me here to be a welding engineer. Brought me here to be a good friend to people who need it. He’s done everything that He can for me.”

While Kennedy battled the intensity of being a two sport athlete in college, she knows where her true purpose lies. “I feel like God gave me gifts to be an athlete but I don’t feel that’s where he wants me to be. I think engineer is definitely where my calling is.”

Kennedy just graduated in early May, and she already has a job lined up. She will be a welding engineer at Columbia Energy and Environmental Services in Richland, WA. In the future, she hopes to weld sculptures and other artwork.