On Wednesday, November 6 students from the Windham Regional Career Center SkillsUSA chapter went to the Vermont Statehouse to participate in the annual SkillsUSA Fall Conference. They were dressed for the occasion, donning their official SkillsUSA uniform: a red SkillsUSA blazer, a white dress shirt, a plain black tie (for the men), black dress slacks, and black dress shoes.
While there, they attended one of the five workshops available. One of the workshops was centered around “March 2 Success,” an online test preparation website sponsored by the Army. It allows students to take a free online test to measure their proficiency in a variety of subjects and helps to prepare students for a variety of exams, such as SAT, ACT, and the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery.
Another workshop they attended was focused on teamwork. In this workshop, the group had to play a game that required 100% participation and teamwork order to succeed. Senior Hillary Renaud found it very worthwhile.
“It helped us find out that in order to do something, especially in a job, you have to work as a team, you can’t do it all yourself and if someone needs help you need to help them,” she said.
For the closing session, guest speaker Akshar Patel shared her story with the student. Patel is an Assistant Director of Admission at Champlain College, former SkillsUSA state officer, and a SkillsUSA medal holder.
“The biggest thing that I took out of his speech was you need to have a passion,” said junior Trevor Houle. “You need to make that passion your mission, and then look at your overall mission and say ‘how am I going to change lives?’”
Patel also talked about the SkillsUSA motto — “Champions at Work” — and how before he joined SkillsUSA, he wasn’t a champion. But after being pushed to be a better person through his involvement, he became one of the best in his field, and he attributed that transformation to SkillsUSA.
Both Hillary Renaud and Trevor Houle said that they would like to go to the National Leadership and Skills Conference in Kansas City this summer to compete in construction and fire services events, respectively. Both students said that the conference was worthwhile and they would definitely go again.