Ask Tim

Step Up to Success

Executive Director Tim Lawrence has known SkillsUSA as a student member, instructor, industry partner and state director. Got a question? He can help.

Q: What does this year’s theme,
SkillsUSA–VICA: Step Up to Success, mean, and how can I apply it?

Tim: To “step up” means to accept a challenge, raise the bar, reach for new heights. Think of our successes last year. The most members in a decade — 266,000 teachers and students — stepped up to choose SkillsUSA. Our state leaders stepped up to serve these new members, and I was fortunate to meet many of you at the largest, most successful state conferences ever.

SkillsUSA’s industry partners stepped up in fiscal 2002, donating over $1 million in cash and more than $25 million of in-kind contributions. They helped sponsor and run the largest SkillsUSA Championships ever, with 73 events and 4,150 competitors.

And when you stepped up to help those affected by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, we saw that citizenship and pride in our nation are not things SkillsUSA members just talk about — we practice them. As the tragic events were unfolding, we had seven students in South Korea at the World Skills Competition. TeamUSA decided to stay. They stepped up to become our most successful team ever, earning three medals, two diplomas of honor and an overall ranking of fourth. Carrying the U.S. flag into the opening ceremonies, the team received a standing ovation. That was truly a life-changing moment for me.

My personal goal for this new school year is to encourage even more people to step up and support all our members with better programs and services. SkillsUSA will launch a Web-based Professional Development Program, expand our voluntary chapter standards project and our Student2Student mentoring effort, and introduce an online college course. We’re improving our services by piloting an online roster-processing system and adding new membership benefits.

I’m confident that we can make this year another record-breaker. An organization is only as strong as the individuals who make up its membership. I challenge you to be a strong link in the SkillsUSA chain. Take a leadership role in your chapter and school. Be active in your local government, civic organizations and mentoring programs. Network through your chapter and industry council to learn from those in your field and tap into the resources available to you.

Let’s all step up to success this year as individuals, citizens and employees. Together, we can have a year that is both a personal best and a professional best. End of story

Got questions about SkillsUSA or other topics? E-mail or send a letter to SkillsUSA / P.O. Box 3000 / Leesburg, VA 20177. Put “Ask Tim” in the subject line or mail address.

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SkillsUSA Champions | Fall 2002 | Volume 37, No. 1
Copyright ©2002 SkillsUSA. All rights reserved.