Local students participate in SkillsUSA leadership conference
Press Release, Orleans/Niagara BOCES
MEDINA – Six students from the Orleans Career and Technical Education Center recently attended the annual New York State SkillsUSA Fall Leadership Conference in Albany.
Malik Abdulghani, Nick Anderson, Heaven Flood, Elijah Sones, Angela Wachob and Ariane Wachob are SkillsUSA chapter officers for OCTEC. SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce.
There are 300,000 students and instructors who are members nationwide. The Fall Leadership Conference provides student officers training on SkillsUSA, leadership skills, teamwork and public speaking. Over 370 students and advisors attended.
Nick Anderson of Roy-Hart said the students learned a lot from the breakout sessions, speakers and activities that ran from morning till night.
“We learned about teamwork, communication skills and got to know other officers from all across the state,” Nick said. “It was one of the coolest things I have ever been a part of. Everyone was very friendly.”
Ariane Wachob of Lyndonville said it was very exciting because it is her first year in SkillsUSA. “It was a great experience because it allowed me to get to know the other officers and our advisors better. I think being a member of SkillsUSA has been eye-opening because it is more professional and helps you mature.”
SkillsUSA students came all across the state for the three-day conference at the Desmond Hotel. OCTEC Advisor Kara Kirk says meeting students from all over the state is a great way to make students better-rounded and build their confidence. For Malik Abdulghani of Lockport that was one of the best parts.
“I still stay in touch with the other state officers,” he said. “I came home with a whole page of phone numbers. But most of all, we got to know one another and that is the best thing. As a family, we grew close.”
Elijah Sones of Medina said, “It’s a great way to learn new skills and bring them back to the school to teach other SkillsUSA members.” Mrs. Kirk says the students already conducted one training at the center. “I was very impressed with what the officers taught the other students. They did a fantastic job sharing what they learned.”
The students also earned a great achievement; all of them were awarded their Statesmanship Pin. It is bestowed to students who studied and learned the history and current leadership of SkillsUSA. The students had to speak with different officials and take an oral test on the organization, along with knowing the SkillsUSA creed and motto.
“I am so proud of the students and what they achieved,” says Mrs. Kirk. “They did a great job representing our school.”