Kendra Lisec

Kendra Lisec doesn’t let fear stop her from trying new things.

Take performing. In June, she sang in front of more than 15,000 students, teachers and business partners at SkillsUSA’s National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC) without seeming to bat an eye.

Speaking of bats, the same week Lisec sang the national anthem in a baseball stadium before a Kansas City Royals game (see photo, Page 9). Oh, and it was broadcast on TV, too. Was she scared?

“This was probably one of the most terrifying but also one of the most rewarding experiences,” Lisec says.

“I had practiced and sang the national anthem many times, but of course it is a completely different feeling, singing in a stadium built for 37,000 people. I was extremely nervous.”

But taking challenges two at a time is something Lisec seems to do.

For example, she’s attending Campbell University in Buies Creek, N.C., as a double major in vocal performance and — wait for it — pre-medicine.

“Because I am double majoring in such different areas, I am taking a heavy class load,” Lisec admits.

While that may be a slight understatement, she credits SkillsUSA’s Professional Development Program with helping her handle such an intense schedule. PDP teaches crucial skills in goal setting and time management, but was it enough?

“The most important thing SkillsUSA taught me was to believe in myself,” Lisec responds.

Her chapter advisor also provided a great support structure. When Lisec was a junior at West Johnston High School in Benson, N.C., Todd Thibault recognized her potential and encouraged her to get involved in SkillsUSA as a leader, competitor and performer.

“The next thing I knew, Mr. Thibault was pushing me to run for state office and audition to sing the national anthem at NLSC,” she says.

Thibault, who’s now a SkillsUSA advisor at Neuse Charter School in Smithfield, N.C., also convinced her to be a national officer. She served as last year’s college/postsecondary secretary.

“There are many SkillsUSA advisors who support their students just as much as Mr. Thibault supported me,” Lisec says. “We, the students, may not say it all of the time, but we truly appreciate everything you do.”