fbpx

Department: Success Story

Vanessa Sandoval

Vanessa Sandoval

What’s your idea of perfect presidential material? A proven leader, from a large state like Texas, perhaps? Or maybe a candidate who’s tall, athletic and charismatic? How about a former actor? The 2003-04 president of SkillsUSA’s high school division meets all those qualifications. But unfortunately, due to a document called the Constitution, it’ll be 18…
Read more

Tyler Brown

Tyler Brown is interested in all things aviation, especially avionics. “I like aviation, I like electronics. Why not do both?” he explains. The SkillsUSA champion in Aviation Maintenance Technology already had two job offers before graduating from Burlington (Vt.) Technical Center. But this past summer, he decided to combine his love of aviation plus electronics…
Read more

Tony Hamblin

The U.S. Army taught Tony Hamblin more than one set of skills. But after nearly 21 years of service, he was ready to leave the military and give civilian life a try. The transition wasn’t a simple one. After going to work for a security company, Hamblin realized he wasn’t doing what he really wanted.…
Read more

Tom Hahn

“I can remember a time when I couldn’t even leave my bed because I was so afraid of the unknown.” There are many individual paths to the SkillsUSA Championships, but Tom Hahn’s was particularly stressful. In his own words, Hahn tells how he overcame his clinical anxiety to earn a gold medal in the biggest…
Read more

Tom Billigen

As a young technician, Tom Billigen was filmed for a recruitment video about the power equipment industry. Working on an engine, he looked into the camera and said, “Some of my friends have jobs, but this is a career.” He was right — and it’s been a very good career so far. “I’m only 36,…
Read more

Tawanda Campbell, Debra Hancock, Diana Lopez, Margaret Mosher, Teresa Slack, Sandy Uffelman

After losing four different jobs due to the economic downturn in Florida, single mother Debra Hancock decided it was time to do something to make herself more marketable. She enrolled in the medical administrative assisting program at Manatee Technical Institute (MTI) in Bradenton. Each of her former employers had cut staff or closed, and when…
Read more

Suzanne Raposo

When Suzanne Raposo started kindergarten, she couldn’t speak English, and her teachers couldn’t speak Portuguese. She remembers her teacher asking her to take out a pencil and not being able to find her “thing,” the word she used to refer to her pencil box and just about everything else. Nearly in tears, she tried to…
Read more

Stephanie Usry

Stephanie Usry

Stephanie Usry didn’t get elected president of the Central High student body by standing on the sidelines. She didn’t become SkillsUSA’s national high school president by hanging around, either. She likes to say she stepped into the arena. The Cheyenne, Wyo., teen is no stranger to being involved. An avid athlete when younger, Usry faced…
Read more

Stella Elder and Joel Chan

Ask Stella Elder and Joel Chan what’s new, then get comfortable. You’ll be listening to this mother and son for more than a couple of minutes. Since 2003, the dynamic duo has experienced a new husband and stepfather, a new country, new green cards, new schools, new career paths, even a new tibia. Meanwhile, they’ve…
Read more

Stanley Morency

Stanley “Stosh” Morency

When Stanley Morency was 5, his mother gave him her clothes dryer. He laughs when he tells the story. “She’s probably the one who got me interested in electronics. Our dryer broke, and she said I could have it. I took it apart, took the drum completely out. We put pillows inside it, and we…
Read more