STC Students Win Five Medals at SkillsUSA Conference

March 1, 2024

The SkillsUSA Georgia State Leadership and Skills Conference has, for years, been an event at which Southeastern Technical College (STC) students prove their abilities and this year was the same.

Southeastern Tech students brought home two gold medals and three bronze medals. They are:

  • Findlay Griner, from Metter – Gold Medal, Cosmetology
  • Jamie Mallard, from Vidalia – Bronze Medal, Job Interview
  • Heavenly Mincey, from Claxton, with model Estrella Hernandez, from Claxton – Gold Medal, Nail Care
  • Harley Newsome, from Wrightsville, with model Whitney Messex, from Cobbtown – Bronze Medal, Esthetics
  • Pricila Ortega, from Swainsboro, with model Erin Hood, from Swainsboro – Bronze Medal, Nail Care

Findlay Griner and Heavenly Mincey advance to the National SkillsUSA competition in Atlanta in June.

Griner said, “Participating in the SkillsUSA Cosmetology program was an invaluable experience that allowed me to show my skills and passion for the beauty industry. Being honored as a gold medalist not only validated my hard work, but also affirmed my dedication to excellence in my craft. It was a privilege to showcase my talents and represent my school, and I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to compete on the national level.”

Ortega said, “I am honored to say I earned a bronze medal for Southeastern Technical College. I learned many things and this experience was special to me. It was exhilarating being in a room full of talented people, demonstrating the future of Georgia and what our Technical College System of Georgia has to offer.”

Newsome spoke of her experience. She said, “I would like to thank everyone who encouraged me through this amazing journey, especially my instructor Mrs. Hairr. Without her dedication to teaching me the material I needed for the esthetics portion, I would have never emerged from a second-semester Cosmetology student to a SkillsUSA bronze medalist! Makeup and skincare have always been a huge factor in my life. Even as a young girl, I experimented with different products and beauty looks. I knew this would become my career. I want to be a colorful inspiration. I want to show everyone of all ages that with hard work and dedication, there is no limit to what can be achieved. SkillsUSA helped me accomplish such a massive milestone in my life. I am beyond thankful and honored for the opportunity to have competed with many talented individuals. This pushed me to new heights that I never imagined.”

The other STC representatives and their areas of competition were:

  • Cassie Taylor, from McRae – Barbering
  • Kimberly Farmer, from Vidalia, with model Jamylett Hernandez, from Claxton – Esthetics
  • Whitney Williams, from Vidalia – Job Skill Demo A
  • Kimberly Register, from Lyons – Customer Service
  • Abigail Phillips, from Mt Vernon – Early Childhood Care and Education
  • Samuel Colston, from Kite – Diesel Equipment Technology
  • Kenyuan Jackson, from Swainsboro – Diesel Equipment Technology

“Thanks so much to the faculty, staff, and students who went to Atlanta over a weekend and represented STC so well! Participating in this event takes time away from families and other priorities, so I am very grateful for the faculty and staff who chose to join in and share this learning experience with their students,” said Teresa Coleman, Vice President for Academic Affairs.

SkillsUSA is the #1 workforce development organization for students, empowering them to become skilled professionals, career-ready leaders, and responsible community members.

Business Management instructor Tina Jernigan and Electrical Construction Technology instructor Tony Criswell lead Southeastern Technical College SkillsUSA as advisors.

Representing nearly 400,000 career and technical education students and teachers, SkillsUSA chapters thrive in middle schools, high schools, and college/postsecondary institutions nationwide as representatives working together to ensure that America has a skilled workforce. It helps students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical, skilled service, and health occupations excel toward their career goals.

America’s proud champion of the skilled trades, SkillsUSA State Conference was held at the Georgia World Congress Center.

For more information on SkillsUSA at STC, visit or call (912) 538-3100 or (478) 289-2200.



1) Findlay Griner Receives Gold Medal in Cosmetology at SkillsUSA Conference

2) Heavenly Mincey Receives Gold Medal in Nail Care at SkillsUSA Conference