As a little girl, Natasha Wiley was fascinated with activities designed for boys. Now a woman, she continues on that non-traditional gender path in her Construction Technology classes at Metro Technology Centers.
Wiley, mother to a five-year-old little boy, enrolled in construction classes with hopes of one day building a church with her husband. Rather than watch the action, she wants to be involved in the labor, even though she knows that doesn’t always gain approval.
“I get dismissed a lot by the opposite sex. They think I can’t really do anything to help construction-wise. Once they see my work, they begin to change their mind about me, but I have to prove myself,” she says.
The intimidation many women feel when trying to work in a male-dominated field is motivation for Wiley to continue pursuing her education and goals.
“I know many women who enjoy working with their hands, but they are afraid of how they will be treated. I want to one day own my own construction company that hires women,” Wiley says.
Since she just enrolled in Construction Technology last October, her student organization involvement has been minimal this year, but she spends most of her free time doing volunteer work in the community. Whether it is fixing things around the house for her mother – who raised eight children as a single parent – or doing things for two churches she is involved with, Wiley enjoys giving back.
“My mom inspired me to help others build a better life for themselves, even when you don’t have a whole lot yourself. That is ultimately my goal.”