Although the SkillsUSA organization has been around for 50 years, the chapter at Craven Community College (CCC) has only been in place for 16 months. Despite it being a new chapter, its membership has grown to 35 students. As one of the largest student groups in the country, SkillsUSA is a nonprofit student organization preparing students for trade, technical and skilled services industries.
More than half of the student membership received awards, many of them gold, at the statewide competition in Greensboro, N.C. CCC SkillsUSA advisor Ricky Meadows, chair of industrial, transportation and service programs, won the Postsecondary Advisor of the Year state award.
During the April 22nd awards ceremony, CCC Dean of Career Programs Jim Millard was in New Bern receiving a text message each time a winning student was announced. “I knew our students were capable, but I was blown away by how well our team did because our chapter is very young. I am very proud of students, staff, faculty and Ricky,” said Millard.
Peyton Holland, executive director SkillsUSA North Carolina, said, “Craven Community College is developing a model SkillsUSA Chapter thanks to the hard work of Mr. Ricky Meadows and the student members. What excites me so much about Craven is that they understand that SkillsUSA is not just for competition, but it is about preparing students for leadership in the world of work.”
Five of the students who placed first at the state competition will compete at the national SkillsUSA competition held in Louisville, Ky., from June 22-27. Statewide first place winners who will be representing CCC are: Arodi Grullon-Fernandez, Information Technology Services; Katarri Brockington, Cosmetology; Kristi Godwin, Esthetics; Anthony Lee, Prepared Speech; and Thomas Smith, Technical Drafting. CCC’s Automotive Showcase Team of Jeff Militano, Yuri Latour-Glasgow, Jeff Stewart and Travis Rich was also awarded first place.
SkillsUSA President Damonte Stancil said the students need to raise money quickly to cover travel costs. Stancil and fellow engineering students Jarrett Barton and Brandon Hardy placed second at the state competition. “SkillsUSA has helped me develop as a leader and I enjoy helping drive students toward their goals and passions in life,” said Stancil.
Other CCC students winning statewide awards were the Engineering Team of Barton, Hardy, and Stancil, who placed second; Esthetics students Sherry Blanton and Anesse Golombeski, who placed second and third in that competition; First/Aid CPR contestant Briana Keys, who placed second; students India Taft, who placed second, and Shedette Roberson, who placed fifth in the Cosmetology contest; Jada Jenkins, who placed third and Richard Hurst, who placed fifth in the IT Services; and Dustan Brown, who placed fifth in CNC Milling Specialist.
CCC held the SkillsUSA Esthetics Statewide Competition on April 16, and those three winners did not travel to Greensboro. There were 22 Craven students and eight faculty members attending the state competition in Greensboro, and 500 overall competitors in approximately 65 contests, representing 18 colleges from across the state.
Deborah Kania is the director of marketing, communications and development liaison at Craven Community College.
Article originally appeared in the New Bern Sun Journal.