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Department: Success Story

Loretta Cabuyadao

Loretta Cabuyadao

Growing up in Sylmar, Calif., Loretta Cabuyadao was the youngest of four to very supportive, hard-working parents. Her dad was involved in the motion picture industry and her mom was an executive assistant at a law firm. Cabuyadao remembers thinking she would go into film editing or become an attorney someday. Things changed when Cabuyadao…
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Etzer Lindor

When Etzer Lindor first stepped into the hallways of Cape Cod Regional Technical High School as a touring eighth-grader, he realized something was different. In fact, the Harwich, Mass., school seemed to offer exactly what Lindor had been looking for: the opportunity to explore various trade skills and shape his future as he saw fit.…
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Ashley Klingberg

Ashley Klingberg never really planned to even compete in SkillsUSA, much less win gold at states and silver at the 2021 SkillsUSA Championships. More surprising to her than winning those medals was the fact that she’d competed in Criminal Justice. After all, Klingberg “wasn’t very fond of cops,” a negative attitude she brought with her…
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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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