School: Wylie East High School
City: Wylie, Texas
Pathway: Criminal Justice
Career Goal: DEA Chemist or field agent
Post Secondary Plan: Sam Houston to double major in Criminology and Chemistry
Favorite Thing You Learned in Your Pathway: How to make quick and effective decisions in high stress situations.
Biggest Success in High School: Becoming the SkillsUSA National Vice President.
Briefly describe your participation in leadership experiences and skills activities related to your career path: My dad is my Criminal Justice teacher and has taught at my high school before I was a student there so I have been surrounded by Criminal Justice and SkillsUSA for almost my entire life. Needless to say, I was able to find my passion of serving others very early. When I became a high school student, I became a SkillsUSA member and chapter officer then I felt the desire to represent and serve more and more people so then I ran for District and State and then finally National Office. With each step in my journey I have developed so many technical and job-specific skills as well as developed my leadership style. SkillsUSA had allowed me to explore different parts of law enforcement and find what I really wanted to do. I competed in several completions that allowed me to bond with group members while also developing my self confidence. SkillsUSA has been huge within my career exploration as well as the numerous certification opportunities my advisor presents us with through FEMA, Policeone, and American Heart Association just to name a few. These certifications allowed me to build up an impressive portfolio that future employers will be looking for.
Favorite memory being a part of the pathway: My favorite memory was working with my Law Enforcement 2 class to create a run, hide, fight video for the entire district. We worked long and hard in doing the research and filming the video, and it came out even better than we had ever imagined. During this project we were really able to use our chemistry and bond to keep the ball rolling on this project, and that video could save a life which is something very impactful for all of us.
Advice to teachers in Law and Public Safety: Get your kids involved in everything and anything. My advisor does countless hours of work to make sure that after 2 years of building the foundation we have an opportunity to see the action first hand through internships. This year we have 4 different rotations of internships and I can never be more thankful for that real life experience I will receive during this time.
Advice to younger students: Find what you want to do in the future and throw yourself into every opportunity that presents itself to you. Weather that be a student led career and technical education organization or on campus learning opportunities through FEMA and Policeone they are so very important when taking the next steps in your chosen career.
School: Cambridge High School
City: Milton, Georgia
Pathway: Law & Justice
Career Goal: My biggest career goal is to become a Foreign Service Officer for the United States Federal Government and conduct relations with countries world-wide..
Post Secondary Plan: After high school, I plan to go to a 4-year university and get a degree in Political Science or International Affairs, as well as a degree in either Business or Economics. I plan on attending Law School after college.
Favorite Thing You Learned in Your Pathway: My favorite thing I learned in my pathway is how to read body language; it was interesting to learn unconscious actions that our bodies do to portray emotions. It’s also an applicable skill to most career, especially those within law enforcement- I’ve used it both within my pathway and outside of it.
Biggest Success in High School: My biggest success in high school was being elected as a National Officer for SkillsUSA. Since the start of my freshman year, I knew I wanted to pursue leadership within this organization. I became passionate about Career Technical Education, and realized I could advocate for my peers within CTE. I then pursued State Office, and after running my sophomore year, I was elected as SkillsUSA Georgia’s Vice President. After serving my term, I realized that I wanted to serve students nation-wide, and thus, I ran for SkillsUSA National Office and got elected onto a phenomenal team! Being able to not only achieve a huge goal of mine, but also be my high school’s first-ever National Officer, is definitely my biggest success!
Briefly describe your participation in leadership experiences and skills activities related to your career path:Through my school’s LPSCS program, I discovered SkillsUSA and was able to quickly find my place within its’ leadership. SkillsUSA itself is a CTSO dedicated to building career skills within young students, through both innovative curriculum and engaging competitions. Through SkillsUSA, I was able to develop essential career skills, such as adaptability and service orientation, amongst many other life skills. I was able to run for state office my sophomore year, and expanded my involvement in the organization by serving as SkillsUSA GA’s Vice President. This year, I ran for National Office within the organization, and became my high school’s first ever National Officer. Aside from SkillsUSA, I am currently the co-Captain of the Cambridge Debate team, where I built my confidence in public speaking and the art of persuasion.
Advice to teachers in Law and Public Safety: A piece of advice I’d give to teachers in Law and Public Safety is to spend some class time focusing on general career skills, other than job-specific skills. Some of the most important parts of careers, even just life in general, is networking and effective communication. My LPSCS teachers taught me how to network, use effective communication, read body language, and perform job-specific tasks with empathy. Learning these within my classes helped me grow as an effective leader within the Law & Public Safety field, as well as in other aspects of my life, and I believe it would be beneficial for all LPSCS students to learn as well!
Favorite memory being a part of the pathway: My all-time favorite memory within my pathway was having a defense and forensics lab during my sophomore year! We spent a few days learning how to handcuff, how to perform self-defense in a few different scenarios, and how to read and conduct fingerprinting. It was really invigorating to get a hands-on experience of what some careers within the Law & Public Safety look like, and it was a great experience to share with my classmates.
Advice to younger students: My biggest piece of advice to younger students is to get involved! Whether it’s a short conversation with your Law teacher, joining a new club, or making unexpected friends in your classes, you never know which interactions could change your life forever! Take the chance and meet new people- it’s honestly the best way to get involved and become an impactful leader.
School: Cambridge High School
City: Milton, Georgia
Pathway: Law & Justice
Career Goal: I want to be a Federal Law Enforcement agent, specifically with the Federal Bureau of Investigations. While gaining experience and knowledge in the field would be rewarding, my ultimate goal is to be the first, African-American FBI Director in this nation’s history.
Post Secondary Plan: Playing football and studying International Studies & Politics at Centre College
Favorite Thing You Learned in Your Pathway: My favorite thing I enjoyed learning was the Bill of Rights my freshman year because of the fun rhyme my teacher gave us to remember all of them. My favorite being 8 rhymes with date and a date with Steve Urkel would be cruel and unusual.
Biggest Success in High School: The biggest success I had in high school was being awarded with The National SkillsUSA Student2Student Mentoring Award, for the connections course I created and taught at my local middle school. This program was called Skills for Adolescence, In the Skills for Adolescence curriculum, everything is delivered in 7’s. I introduced the 7 Keys to Success and the 7 Dream Killers to my students to inform them of life-threatening issues and to teach them how to overcome them while equipping them with skills and traits they need to succeed in high school and adulthood. My first year I taught a total of 122 students and later that year I was recognized nationally by SkillsUSA.
Briefly describe your participation in leadership experiences and skills activities related to your career path: I’ve been part of my school’s Law & Justice program for four years, three years as a student and my fourth as a mentor for my teachers classes. My sophomore year, I joined our program’s tactical team and was the captain my senior year.
Advice to teachers in Law and Public Safety: My advice for teachers is always keep an eye out for the student who can surprise you, you never know who has the potential to be special.
Favorite memory being a part of the pathway: My favorite memory of the Law & Justice program is my final exam my sophomore year. It was a huge mock trial we spent half of the semester preparing for. I was assigned direct examination for prosecution and this made me extremely nervous because I was up against members of our school’s mock trial team. My star witness was my best friend who played the officer who was the first responder to the crime scene and I knew we had to knock the direct out of the park if we were going to ace the exam. I remember spending hours going over and editing my questions but I still couldn’t calm my nerves. Finally on the day of the trial all of the students in my class and our parents reported to Municipal Court of Milton school and met with the judge who was handling our case and grading us. After the opening statement I was up and all my hard work paid off, my direct questioning went off without a hitch and we ended up getting a guilty verdict on both counts. This is when I fell in love with Law & Justice and knew I wanted a career in it.
Advice to younger students: My advice for younger students is don’t be afraid to take a chance if there’s ever an opportunity in front of you make sure you take it.