A simple request sent Sharon Gordon on an unexpected but not uncontrolled trajectory. Now, with the help of a SkillsUSA scholarship, who knows what heights she’ll reach?
She’d been an emergency room nurse for 18 years. Then one day her son asked for a go-cart. Fulfilling his wish became a life-altering experience.
Unlike most people, Sharon Gordon decided to build the go-cart herself. She enrolled in welding classes at Albuquerque (N.M.) Technical Vocational Institute. That led to thoughts of working as a machinist, so she entered the metals technology program. She applied for an internship at the nearby Sandia National Laboratories and, after earning her associate’s degree, she’ll participate in Sandia’s trades apprentice program.
“My ultimate goal would be to help organize and run this intern program,” Gordon explains. She also plans on obtaining bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
A $5,000 scholarship will help. She’s a recent winner of the Paul Pentz True Leader Award, which recognizes SkillsUSA members for leadership, community service and improving the image of their occupations.
Gordon says the award is “another set of wings to help me fly.” In SkillsUSA, she was elected chapter president, then state postsecondary president, and has competed nationally in Prepared Speech.
“It’s amazing how I’m learning that just as one student, I have been able to make a difference,” she says. “We had the most students ever turn out last April at our state conference. At nationals, we had the most awards ever.”
On top of all her duties at school and as a single parent, Gordon puts in countless hours with several community service organizations. And through grant writing, she’s helped raise funds for metal trades programs throughout New Mexico. She’s trying to get on the governor’s transition team to work with career and technical education and its student organizations. “It’s amazing how people will listen to a student,” she says.
It’s amazing how Gordon keeps going! She concedes to being grateful for caffeine, and if she could have anything in the world, it would be 18 hours of sleep.
In light of such significant changes in her life, she quotes Mohandas Gandhi: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
SkillsUSA Champions | Winter 2003 | Volume 37, No. 2