Vazquez strikes gold at nationals

by Citlali Moreno & Sofia Cuevas
photo courtesy of Catalina Garcia

For the first time in school history, students in SkillsUSA spent part of summer break competing at nationals, where senior Damian Vazquez won a gold medal.

Over the summer, Vazquez faced other gold medalists from across the nation in Louisville, Kentucky in Mobile Electronics from June 23-29. After competing for a week, Vasquez received gold.

This was Vazquez’s first year in the organization and his first year competing.

“It felt good to get first. It was hard and it was a lot of work, I started off not knowing anything,” stated Vazquez, “Sometimes I would come home at 9.”

SkillsUSA advisors are Catalina Garcia and Garth Kline, and both expressed their pride in their student’s victory.

“I’m proud of Damian,” said co-advisor Catalina Garcia, “the students are very dedicated and they dedicate their own time, Competing gives them a good experience because the judges are engineers.”

Kline accompanied Vazquez on the week-long trip to Kentucky.

“I’m proud of the commitment, it takes time to study, listen and apply what you know They really learn how to organize, speak and comprehend what they’re learning,” said Kline.

SkillsUSA is a club that centers around the development of skills in technical and service occupations. Originally, the organization was Vocational Industrial Clubs of America, morphing into SkillsUSA in later years.

Initially, 10 students competed in 2018 Region 3 Skills Conference at the Los Angeles Trade Technical College Jan.27. Out of the ten members, seven members moved on to participate in State Leadership and Skills Conference in Ontario from Apr. 20-22.

In order to compete in nationals, members would need to receive gold at a state competition. Senior Damian Vazquez’s place first, securing his spot in nationals.

Students interested in joining the SkillsUSA program may talk to Kline in Room C-103.

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