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2005 Awards of Excellence
Two Awards of Excellence were presented in the 2005 contest.


Champions at Work

Allegan County Area Career and Technical Education Center

Advisor: Steve Lick
Training Areas: Graphic Arts

The Allegan County Area Career and Technical Education Center (ACATEC) took an active role in the community by mentoring local Junior High Students. Both A.M. and P.M. Graphic Arts students spent their time giving tours from January through February to the local eighth graders. During the visits to the Tech Center applications were given to those that were interested in returning for a half day to the Graphic Arts Class. Before getting the letters back from the Junior High Students they had a volunteer sign up for mentors within the classroom. Based on the applications returned they selected five participants from local Junior High Schools. Those five students were then allowed to ride along on the buses with the regular Career and Technical students in the afternoon. When they got to the Graphic Arts class they met with their student mentor where they were able to screen print, take digital photos, and use software; including Photoshop and Illustrator, or use the Offset Printing Presses. Before the half day mentoring experience was done for the Junior High Students they created something to take home with them to remember the Graphic Arts mentors. Whether it was a photo, screen printed shirt, home made notepad, or design.

The outcome of the mentoring project had a great impact on the middle school students and the Graphic Arts students. As SkillsUSA members the students at Allegan were proud to promote Career and Technical Education throughout the community. Although they began this project on a small scale, they hope to expand it to more and more students throughout the future.

E.J.Milliken Technical Center at Eastern Suffolk B.O.C.E.S.

Advisor: Giovanni V. Chiarelli
Training Areas: Culinary Arts,Criminal Justice, Cosmetology, Automotive, Computers, Photography

The goals of this project were two fold. The first part involved having the elementary teachers introduce the concept of "what a career is" to their students. Discussion regarding having a career versus a job was a springboard for what careers may be of interest to them. They then gave their students choices of what was available at the technical center. Together they planned a visitation to the E.J. Milliken Technical Center. Once each student decided which class was of interest to them, they then formulated a questionnaire of what to ask their mentors regarding their trade. Their responses were then discussed back in their classroom after the visitation. That information helped the students to write thank-you letters to their mentors.

The second goal of this project involved the SkillsUSA students and their teachers at the E.J.Milliken Technical Center. They volunteered to mentor these younger partners by giving them the opportunity to spend time receiving a "hands on" learning experience in their chosen career. This project reinforced to the mentors their purpose for attending their selected programs. It also helped them to increase their self-esteem as they instructed their mentees. The mentors involved obtained a genuine feeling that they were true "champions at work."

The impact on the elementary students and their parents included an awareness of the opportunities available to their children. The children went home excited to show off their newly learned skills. The community had an opportunity to see these children on the local news station and read about them in the local and district news letters. The SkillsUSA members also were recognized by their lead teacher and their individual teachers. They too had the opportunity to show the community why they have chosen to be involved with SkillsUSA and the E.J. Milliken Technical Center.