STC Students Attend SkillsUSA Leadership Meet in D.C.
October 15, 2012 - Southeastern Technical College students Javier Bullard and Markie Graham attended the SkillsUSA Washington Leadership Training Institute (WLTI) from Sept. 15-19.
The event, held in the nation's capital, allows SkillsUSA members from across the US to meet, network, and learn.
"They trained us to be better leaders, and we learned more about SkillUSA," said Bullard. "We toured D.C., saw some famous buildings, all that good stuff. It was a pretty good learning experience."
While a large portion of the trip did consist of touring the city and mingling with other SkillsUSA members, the STC-Swainsboro students had work to do beforehand and while in D.C.
One of the requirements for attendance at the WLTI was a set of assignments revolving around the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 2006. Attendees were asked to write a paper, overview, and presentation on the act, which funds career and technical education.
The presentation portion, completed as either a PowerPoint or brochure, is judged. Bullard's brochure placed in the top five, earning him top honors beside four other entrants from around the country.
The second task for WLTI attendees was a meeting with their congress member on the same subject as their previous assignments.
"That was an experience that taught you how to present yourself well-you want to leave a great impression on a congressman," said Bullard. "There's a lot of debate going on around Perkins funding, and we had to go on its behalf and convince them to vote for the funding, tell them why it's important to keep that funding."
Even without the Perkins discussion, the meeting made an impact on the students.
"The fact that you're able to take your picture with and talk to a congressman, the fact that he said, 'You're important enough for me to put you in my schedule and to listen to what you have to say," was amazing," said Bullard.
After the tours, the presentations, and the meetings, attendees were still met with a few surprises-including a seat at a dinner with C.E.O.s, vice presidents, and other executive supporters of SkillsUSA.
"Listening to all these people in high places talk about SkillsUSA, it was an amazing experience, something you won't ever forget," said Bullard.
For more information on Southeastern Tech or SkillsUSA, call (912) 538-3100 or (478) 289-2200 or visit www.southeasterntech.edu.