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Department: Success Story

Peyton Holland

In construction, a strong foundation is crucial to the future durability, stability and resilience of any building. Peyton Holland thinks about that daily when he stands on the front porch of his home, which is held up by the 16 brick columns he and his dad built together. From an early age, Holland knew he…
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Lizetthe Moreno

It’s not given, it’s earned.” It’s a motto that’s fired the furnace of Lizetthe Moreno’s goal-driven dreams since childhood, and she’s about to realize a big one. A former SkillsUSA national officer, the 21-year-old Houston native now stands ready to become an officer in the United States Marines, a testament to a life already characterized…
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Jay Clifton

Jay Clifton

Jay Clifton describes himself as a “little bitty country boy” who grew up in Gilmer, Texas. “I grew up cooking,” he says. “My mom always wanted to instill in me a love of cooking and a love of baking.” But Clifton didn’t decide to study culinary arts until years later. “I had always wanted to…
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Julie Canuto-Depina, Nathan Ford, Andrea Maizy, Sahil Patel and Raymond Slifer

The SkillsUSA Framework — the foundation for everything SkillsUSA does — is comprised of three equally important components: Personal Skills, Workplace Skills and Technical Skills Grounded in Academics. Five career and technical education (CTE) students recently underscored the “Academics” portion of that trifecta by becoming the latest in a long line of SkillsUSA members to…
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Nyssa Lewis and Brian Lopez Mejia

SkillsUSA carpentry student Brian Lopez Mejia woke up pretty excited on May 4 (combined with a pretty serious case of nerves), knowing he was about to face one of the biggest opportunities of his life. Down the hotel hallway, fellow student Nyssa Lewis was dealing with her own anxieties. The chapter officers were used to…
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William Gorham

As the executive chef for Rocky Mount (N.C.) Event Center, William Gorham, now 46, leads a team of 24 employees — including chefs, concession staff, and kitchen staff — to prepare meals and cater large events. His interest in cooking, however, was sparked as a child when he visited his grandmother’s farm every summer in…
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Damien Lopez

s a child growing up in Newark, N.J., Damien Lopez was known to friends and family by another name … and as another gender. He was a sister (one of seven) and a daughter, roles that, for Lopez, “never resonated.” He remembers the conflicting, confusing emotions from an early age, but feeling those emotions and…
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Chandler Kerr and Brittany Whitestone

In printing, a duotone refers to creations that are made up of one photo printed in two contrasting colors, one superimposed over the other. The outcome is a new creative image that brings out the middle tones and highlights in a whole new way. Like a duotone, graphic communications graduates Chandler Kerr and Brittany Whitestone…
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Ben Falconer holding wrenches

Ben Falconer

From a young age, Ben Falconer enjoyed all things automotive, a passion ignited while working with his father on small engines in their home garage in Greeley, Colo. At some point along the way, Falconer, now 23, remembers meeting one of his father’s friends who painted cars for a living, and his passion suddenly expanded…
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Rah’Mere Williams

Rah’Mere Williams

Design and media student Rah’Mere Williams says he didn’t choose technical education. “I would say technical education chose me.” Williams was pursing an associate degree in design at Augusta Technical College when he found himself in a tense, ultimately life-changing meeting in his advisor’s office. Sherrie Rowe, the design and media department head, quickly helped…
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