Ask Tim

A Vision Correction

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

Q: All I hear about is “change” these days. Where does that leave me?

Tim: The presidential and congressional campaigns are in full swing, and the results could reinvent our country. Hundreds of thousands of young people are registering to vote for the first time, and the voice of this new generation will be a key factor in determining our nation’s future. As you grow and expand your horizons, your life and direction will also change. And, as you broaden your goals, your vision for the future will be reinvented. If you choose to be actively involved, SkillsUSA can help guide you through this transition.

As you begin this school year, I hope you’ll recognize the incredible opportunity that lies before you. It’s there, just waiting, but only you can decide to embrace it. Someone once said that 90 percent of success in life is just showing up, being part of the process — in other words, being involved.

In this issue, you’ll read about students and teachers who’ve risen to the top. But ask any of them how their journey began, and they’ll tell you about starting small, surrounding themselves with the right people and finding a way to move forward one step at a time. There’s a story about one girl held back by low self-esteem, because the people around her said she wasn’t good enough. After surrounding herself with positive people who believed in her, she changed and even sprouted the wings to become a national champion.

It’s not just students whose lives change through involvement in SkillsUSA. Our five Advisor of the Year finalists have a combined classroom tenure of 118 years. As they’ve all stated, helping others achieve success is what motivates them year after year. Also in this issue, we have highlighted our national champions: gold medalists as well as students elected to serve as national officers. Their stories are no different than yours; most never dreamed of the success they’ve achieved. But now they can look back and trace the important small steps they took with mentors, friends and fellow professionals on their journey to success and leadership.

This is the time of year you should clarify your dreams and allow SkillsUSA and those around you to help you fulfill your incredible potential. Step forward, volunteer, try something new — just be involved. I’ll guarantee that if you do this, we’ll be reading about some of you in a future issue of SkillsUSA Champions. 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 2008 | Volume 43, No. 1
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