Trained in D.C.

Article Published: 02/10/2017

For six days in January, Visual Media Tech student Hunter Leslie (Bellevue HS) and Cosmetology student Olivia Babka (Norwalk HS) absorbed all the knowledge they could while at the SkillsUSA Regional Officer Training Institute (ROTI) in Washington D.C.  Focusing on SkillsUSA’s pillars of Compassion, Hope, Trust and Stability, Leslie and Babka participated in leadership training designed for regional SkillsUSA officers to first learn, then bring back to their schools and fellow classmates.

“It taught me that there are so many more opportunities available for our youth that a lot of people have no idea about,” said Babka.  “It really made me realize a lot of things that i never thought I was capable of.”

Gaining a working bond with other Ohio Northwest Regional Officers was important to the students to encourage teamwork, communication, leadership and friendship.  Leslie, the Ohio Northwest Regional Reporter, and Babka, the Ohio Northwest Regional Secretary, developed a Goodwill Plan where they’ll travel to three other schools to encourage students to join SkillsUSA.  Both earned their Statesman’s pin, an acknowledgement of displaying outstanding qualities of leadership.

During their trip, the students were also able to visit several well-known D.C. area museums and monuments, as well as SkillsUSA Headquarters.  They were also very proud that the Ohio Northwest Regional Chapter obtained two gold medals from the event; one for the opening and closing ceremonies and one for SkillsUSA trivia.

"I am thankful for everything that SkillsUSA has been able to offer me, because I wouldn't be the person I am today, if it weren't for the love and guidance that SkillsUSA has given me,” said Leslie.  “If anyone has the chance to participate in SkillsUSA or even in any sort of organization, do it. It really does make a positive impact on your life."

“SkillsUSA has had a huge impact on my life, and the friendships I've made a long with it will definitely stay with me forever,” said Babka. “I encourage everyone to join our organization because not only is it a great opportunity, but they are very accepting no matter what your background is, or where you came from.”

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce.  The Ohio chapter provides its 31,500+ career-technical education members, which includes many EHOVE students, the opportunity to participate in local, regional, state and national competitive events, and encourages students to give back to the community through various community service activities.