Muskegon  – Last month, seven students traveled to national skills competitions across the country. Three Graphic Production Technologies (GPT) students competed in the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference, June 25 to 29, 2018, in Louisville, Kentucky; while four Allied Health and Health Science Academy students traveled to Dallas, Texas, June 27 to 30, 2018, for the HOSA International Leadership Conference.

For the fourth consecutive year, Graphic Production Technologies students’ Chapter Display entry qualified them to compete in the SkillsUSA Leadership and Skills National Conference in Louisville. The three person team of Jaslynn Hite (Whitehall), Chandler Bisson (Muskegon Catholic Central), and Graysen Kloostra (Ravenna) competed. The Chapter Display contest requires participants to design a custom promotional exhibit that communicates a common theme established by SkillsUSA. Students must design, produce, and set up their display then present that information during an interview with judges.

“This is the second year I’ve participated in SkillsUSA,” shared Jaslynn. “It has shown me that I am much stronger and more confident than I ever recognized. I’ll carry these memories and lessons with me for the rest of my life.”

Although they did not place in the top three, the students and Instructor Christine Bell were proud of their efforts. The week-long event provided the team with many opportunities to learn, grow, and become prepared to be “Job Ready Day One” (this year’s SkillsUSA theme). The event also included an inspiring speech on motivation, hard work, and pursuing your dreams given by keynote speaker and Michigan native, NASCAR Driver Brad Keselowski. Students also had the opportunity to refine their artistic skills by participating in a glass blowing workshop at Flame Run in Louisville.

“I am looking forward to being in SkillsUSA again next year,” said Chandler. “This was an awesome experience and I can’t wait to apply what I learned to next year’s contests.”

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Allied Health and Health Science Academy students Marco Cuevas (Muskegon), Dalton Giddings (Holton), Trevor Pant (Oakridge), and Bryce Ward (Holton) were among roughly 10,000 students to participate in the HOSA: Future Health Professionals International Leadership Conference, June 27 to 30, 2018. The conference took place at the Dallas Convention Center in Dallas, Texas.

The HOSA Bowl competition tested the health science skills and knowledge of students from across the country and the world. A written exam was required for the team prior to the actual HOSA Bowl seeding. Though the team didn’t place at the national level, all members felt they gave their best effort and benefitted from the experience.

“HOSA was amazing. I learned it takes a lot of concentration and focus to compete as a team,” said Bryce.

“I’m extremely proud of the way we performed–we gave it our all. HOSA was a great learning experience. It prepares you for future careers in healthcare and it’s also a great way to meet new people that have the same interests,” shared Marco.

“I was impressed with how far we made it this year. The hard work and dedication we put forth was tremendous!” added Trevor.

The HOSA Bowl team previously placed second out of 42 teams at the HOSA State Leadership Conference this past March in Grand Rapids.

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