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Active Advisor News: December 2019

Active Advisor News: December 2019

Update from Chelle Travis

I am so honored to be serving as your new executive director of SkillsUSA. Career and technical education is my passion as well as my heritage. After more than 17 years invested in this field at the secondary and postsecondary levels, leading SkillsUSA feels like a very natural next step.

My parents and grandparents have a CTE background. My mom was a CTE instructor for 40 years and a CTSO advisor, my father was a machining student and practitioner before becoming postmaster of our small town, and my grandmother was a licensed cosmetologist. Their experiences informed my own career path. I worked for the Tennessee Secondary Department of Education, taught at the postsecondary level, had national medalists in SkillsUSA’s Quiz Bowl and Job Interview competitions, and served as state SkillsUSA director in Tennessee. Most recently, I served the Tennessee Board of Regents as associate vice chancellor for the Colleges of Applied Technology and senior director for workforce and economic development at the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

As SkillsUSA’s executive director, I pledge to remember that you, the SkillsUSA instructor, are the connectivity of this organization. You connect students to our program and to meaningful opportunities that magnify their personal and professional skills. You connect our curricula to your classroom instruction and are the face of SkillsUSA at the local level. Without your dedication, SkillsUSA simply could not exist as one of the nation’s largest individual membership organizations, and one of the largest that is volunteer-driven.

I often talk to students in my work, and when I ask them how they found their career passion, the answer is so simple: “I had a teacher who saw something in me. I had a teacher who motivated me. I had a teacher who encouraged me and pushed me.” Just as you do for them, I am here to motivate, encourage and even push a little to ensure that we are delivering excellence in every SkillsUSA classroom across the nation. Thank you for what you do each day! As I begin this journey as the fourth executive director of SkillsUSA, please write to me if you have wisdom to share: ctravis@skillsusa.org. 

That’s all for now. Thanks for all you do for the great students we serve.

Gain National Attention for Student Mentoring

SkillsUSA sponsors a national recognition opportunity called the Student2Student mentoring program. Mentoring connects young people to personal growth and development, as well as economic opportunities. When a SkillsUSA chapter mentors an elementary- or middle-school classroom, it helps younger students imagine careers and helps older students practice their skills.

Student2Student recognizes SkillsUSA chapters that are involved in a mentoring program in their communities. To enter, submit your mentoring project plan, description and outcomes. The winning chapter will be recognized at the National Leadership and Skills Conference and in its Awards and Recognition book. In addition, the winner will be invited to present at SkillsUSA University. All entries must be submitted by April 1. Winners are announced in May. You can download the Mentoring Guide: http://skillsusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Mentoring-Guide-rev.2015.pdf

For more information, contact Gayle Silvey at gsilvey@skillsusa.org or visit: www.skillsusa.org/educators/mentrecog.shtml

New Items Added to Brand Center

The SkillsUSA Brand Center at www.skillsusabrandcenter.org has been updated with new resources for advisors. New and updated templates have been added to the Downloads section that match the current membership kits including local brochures, meeting fliers, administrator fliers, program covers, sample press releases and presentations.

The interactive website allows members to download SkillsUSA logos (national, state and slogan art) or search for a logo they need and download it in the proper format for an individual job (EPS, JPG, PNG). Another function allows local members to create their own personalized SkillsUSA logo with the name of the chapter.

The SkillsUSA Brand Center helps unify SkillsUSA’s visual identity and demonstrates the importance of consistency in how SkillsUSA is communicated and helps members advocate for our brand. Members must register for the site, which enables them to save specific items as favorites when returning. After registering, users will see a column on the left side of the webpage with a menu of options, from identity standards and applications to downloads and the personalized logo generator.

SkillsUSA Scholarship Opportunities Now Open

Applications for several scholarships are now open to benefit SkillsUSA students in pursuit of higher education or certification in their chosen field.

Help spread the word so more SkillsUSA students can take advantage of these opportunities:

Additional scholarships may be announced soon, so check the website for updates: www.skillsusa.org/membership-resources/scholarships-financial-aid/. 

Who’s Ready to Show Your Style?

The SkillsUSA Store is gearing up for SkillsUSA Week 2020! The official T-shirt design for SkillsUSA Week was created by SkillsUSA member Courtney Hand, a junior at Cumberland County Technical Education Center in Vineland, N.J. To order the T-shirt, go to: www.skillsusastore.org/products/SkillsUSAWeekTee. 

Young Entrepreneurs Eligible for World Series of Innovation

World Series of Innovation is an online, project-based competition sponsored by the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship. Young innovators from across the globe ages 13-24 can enter the competition and compete for cash prizes.

Small teams will create business solutions that align with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Some teams compete independently while others are affiliated with schools or programs like SkillsUSA. Students can compete on their own or in teams of two or three. For the current sustainability-themed innovation challenges that close Dec. 16, and details on how to compete, visit: https://innovation.nfte.com/. 

Nominations Open for Presidential Cybersecurity Education Award

Nominations are now open for the inaugural Presidential Cybersecurity Education Award. This honor will recognize educators who are doing great work to prepare the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. The award will be presented to two educators — one at the elementary level and one at the secondary level — who demonstrate superior achievement in instilling skills, knowledge, and passion with respect to cybersecurity and cybersecurity-related subjects.  Winners will receive a trip to Washington, D.C., public recognition and other professional opportunities.

Nominations close Jan. 31. To apply, visit: www2.ed.gov/documents/presidential-cybersecurity-education-award.pdf.

Take Up the Challenge! National Conference Pin and T-Shirt Design

Feb. 5 is the deadline for entries to be received (not postmarked) for the SkillsUSA National Conference Pin and T-shirt Design Challenge. This event is open to all paid student members of SkillsUSA. This is a great way to have a student and advisor from your state recognized on stage at the national conference. Rules are posted on the SkillsUSA website at: www.skillsusa.org/competitions/pin-design-challenge/.

Seeking Talented Singers to Open Conference

SkillsUSA is seeking a talented student or adult member to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Opening Ceremony of the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference on June 23, 2020, in Louisville, Ky. Auditions must be received by Feb. 3. SkillsUSA does not pay any travel expenses for the selected singer to attend the national conference.

To audition, submit a video of yourself singing the national anthem: https://skillsusa.wufoo.com/forms/national-anthem-auditions/. 

Focus Your Students on Safety

CareerSafe sponsors a National Youth Safety Video Contest, in which students across the country are challenged to create a two-minute video demonstrating safety in the workplace. All submissions should be sent to CareerSafe by March 1. The winning students will receive a SkillsUSA prize pack as well as a scholarship up to $2,500, and the winning school will receive a prize up to $5,000. For more information, visit the CareerSafe website at: www.careersafeonline.com.