Ask Tim

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

Q: Our new slogan is "SkillsUSA: Champions at Work." Do you truly believe everyone in SkillsUSA is a "champion"?

Tim: I believe all members of SkillsUSA will be champions if they make the personal commitment to do their best and then continue to improve.

People often think of champions as sports medalists standing on a stage with their hands raised, or teams piling on each other out on the field of play. But as sports commentator Bob Costas said, “Champions don’t become champions on the field; they are merely recognized there.” It’s the training and personal excellence developed off the field that’s important to becoming a champion.

Thanks to our instructors, SkillsUSA offers the needed training and recognition, but the most important ingredient is commitment. I believe our students make that commitment when they discover their strengths. That’s what SkillsUSA was created to do: help students to discover and develop all of their strengths and the skills they’ll need to deliver them.

Local, state and national championships are some of the playing fields, but there are many more. SkillsUSA chapters, committees, conferences and activities such as fund-raisers are also playing fields. Preparing for a community service event, students gain confidence in their abilities to lead, communicate and work on a team. These are among the skills needed to become another kind of champion: an advocate.

Advocates are champions who speak in favor of someone or some position. To be persuasive, advocates need to know their facts, show others how they feel about their position, and be people of character. Our students, advisors and business partners have been persuasive advocates for career and technical education and the students it serves since the founding of SkillsUSA. Some recent signs of our success can be found in this edition of our magazine. There’s a great story about a chapter working to support CTE in California. You’ll also be reading about some of your fellow champions speaking with the administration and on Capitol Hill during the recent Washington Leadership Training Institute.

Are they champions? Sure they are. Can everyone in SkillsUSA be a champion? You bet. It just takes self-awareness, skill and the commitment to do a better job tomorrow than the one we did today. Keep up the good work. 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 | Winter 2005 | Volume 39, No. 2
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