Ask Tim

Sweating a New Year

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

Q: I hope to make a fresh start in the new school year. Any ideas?

Tim: In my days as a student and teacher, this was a time to set new goals, look at all the possibilities and improve both personally and professionally. Actor Matthew McConaughey said in an interview recently, “I try to break a sweat every day.” While he was talking mainly about his physical health, try applying this philosophy to your daily work. You’ll stretch yourself beyond what you might imagine.

Breaking a sweat might mean raising your expectations for your technical and academic accomplishments. It might mean getting more involved in your SkillsUSA chapter or other organizations to help you build your professional muscle. SkillsUSA offers a great network in which you can stretch yourself in so many ways.

To stay focused, start every day with a plan, a sense of knowing what you want to accomplish. Just a short list of daily goals will work. Look back at your list at the end of the day, and you’ll feel good about what you accomplished. This will help you pay attention to the things that need to get done the next day or later in the week.

If you need help setting and carrying out goals, try SkillsUSA’s Professional Development Program (PDP). Through PDP, you can set yourself apart from your peers and gain an extra edge with employers. Ultimately, the program helps you build an employment portfolio. If you stretched while in school, it will show.

Here at SkillsUSA headquarters, we’ve been working to break a sweat, too. There’s never been a more exciting time to be involved. We’re moving forward with new programs, online offerings and more support from business, industry and government than ever before. We have a fresh new start with federal Perkins legislation to support our schools and our program — and SkillsUSA played a major role in the passage of the new law.

We also have a fresh new way for you to communicate with your legislators and the news media: the SkillsUSA Champions Advocacy Site. If you haven’t visited lately, please check out all the new tools to help you stretch personally and build stronger SkillsUSA chapters.

In this issue of SkillsUSA Champions, our members really illustrate how SkillsUSA can change lives for the better. Every student and teacher in SkillsUSA has the potential to be a champion. So stretch a little and be the best you can be this school year.

I know you can. 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 2006 | Volume 41, No. 1
Copyright ©2006 SkillsUSA. All rights reserved.