Ask Tim

Our Amazing Journey

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 see SkillsUSA set a membership record this year. Can I apply your successful methods to my own future?

Tim: It’s been an amazing journey. Our membership numbers were only a dream a few years ago. Also, our partnerships have grown to the highest level ever, and we granted more than $1 million in support directly to schools and students this year.

We achieved all this together, and I can see four key factors: a strong foundation, persistence, a vibrant brand and excellent advice. SkillsUSA’s founders, leaders, partners and staff have guided us over the years, and we have been persistent about being an exceptional organization. Our partners have guided SkillsUSA’s brand, and we’ve received excellent advice in many areas. In our own personal journeys, we all have such systems to guide us — if we only pay attention to them.

In this issue of SkillsUSA Champions, you’ll read about three students who found their direction with the help of a talented and dedicated advisor. Such advisors strive to be the role models and mentors who make dreams possible for their students. By providing useful guidance at the right time, they put students on the right path.

Then there are the students in this issue who met obstacles when competing in Miss Teen USA and “American Idol.” Using their own guidance systems, they made wise decisions to press forward to continue down new pathways to success.

Whether facing a challenge individually, as these students did — or facing a challenge as a team, as many of our local chapters have — there’s always someone standing behind you in SkillsUSA. Day to day, that may be your advisor or your fellow members. Some of you have been guided to your state leadership conferences and competitions, and many will join the “best of the best” at nationals this June. No matter how far you reach, I encourage you to carry on SkillsUSA’s positive message in your local chapters and inspire others to participate in this growing, vibrant national organization.

And if you’re moving to the next chapter in your life, whether education or a career, you can continue the journey as a member of SkillsUSA’s alumni association. It’s free and will keep you connected. I hope you’ll check out our Web site and stay involved.

Our journey is made possible by the work of students, educators and partners. You’ve made SkillsUSA the exceptional organization that has now served more than 9.6 million members. Thank you! 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 | Summer 2008 | Volume 42, No. 4
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