SkillsUSA Students Receive Presidential CTE Scholar Honors

Published: May 14, 2021
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The SkillsUSA Framework consists of three components: Personal Skills, Workplace Skills and Technical Skills Grounded in Academics. Five SkillsUSA members recently reinforced the “academics” portion of that phrase by becoming the latest in a long line of SkillsUSA members over the years to be named U.S. Presidential Scholars. SkillsUSA is proud of our 2021 recipients of this prestigious award (from left to right): Andrea Maizy, an Emergency Medical Services student at Center Line (Mich.) High School Julie Canuto-Depina, a Medical Assisting student at Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School in South Easton, Mass. Sahil Patel, 2020-21 SkillsUSA Maryland president and a Cybersecurity student at North Point High School in Waldorf, Md. Nathan Daniel Ford, an Electronics Technology student at Cedar Valley High School in Eagle Mountain, Utah. Raymond Slifer, a Machining/Engineering student at Upper Bucks County Technical School in Perkasie, Pa. Maizy says her parents left Iraq for the U.S. to have a better life. “It’s been hard for them to always do what they wanted to do for me,” she says. “I have to take all the opportunities I can take that they couldn’t. It’s nice to make them proud.” Canuto-Depina, a four-year SkillsUSA member, has earned her state Leader Award, a bronze medal in the SkillsUSA Massachusetts 2021 Prepared Speech competition, and the honor of being named the state’s Outstanding CTE student. She is also the recipient of the state’s SkillsUSA Jannine Baker Legacy Scholarship, the Brian S. Bentley Leader’s Scholarship and the SkillsUSA Massachusetts Alumni scholarship. Patel says, “Being a CTE student was key to my success in becoming an ambitious member of my community. SkillsUSA was the gateway through which I was able to utilize the knowledge I gained in my CTE cybersecurity program while simultaneously building my leadership skills as a Maryland state officer.” Ford is one of those students with a natural “self-taught” proficiency in whatever he takes on. He competed in Electronics Technology for SkillsUSA as a sophomore but was unable to compete the last two years because of the pandemic. He is currently working in areas related to animatronics and coding, and he plans to become an electrical engineer. Slifer is a cooperative education student employed as a machinist by Bracalente Manufacturing group. He has been a SkillsUSA medal winner, an Elmer Gates Enterprise Award recipient, and is a member of both the National Honor Society and the National Technical Honor Society. He has earned the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts, and he serves the community as a junior scoutmaster and a Richlandtown Fire Company junior firefighter. Of these members, and all the 2021 Presidential Scholar recipients, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona says, “The 2021 Presidential Scholars represent extraordinary achievements for our extraordinary times. I am delighted to salute these outstanding young people for their achievements, service, character, and continued pursuit of excellence. Their examples make me proud and hopeful about the future.” Of the 3.6 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 6,000 candidates qualified for the 2021 awards. The 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars are comprised of two students from each state as well as 20 scholars in the arts, 20 scholars in career and technical education and 15 additional scholars chosen at large. The Presidential Scholars Class of 2021 will be recognized for their outstanding achievement this summer. Visit for a complete list of the 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars.

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