DOWNEY -- Seventy Downey High School students put their leadership skills to the test on Saturday, Oct. 8, when they volunteered at the Dare 2B Digital exposition, which was hosted at the school.
The daylong event introduced almost 1,000 Downey Unified middle school students and parents to cutting edge digital technologies.
The DHS student volunteers are part of the school’s SkillsUSA team. Through the day, they helped register participants, provided directions, assisted program presenters, and documented the event through photography and video.
“They were amazing,” said Norma Kropelinicki of Dare 2B Digital. “I work with a lot of volunteers and I would take this group anytime.”
At the end of the event, the students hunkered down in the shade for a group photo and a well-earned break. “I couldn’t be more proud of your professionalism,” teacher Frida J. Vadgama, Downey High’s SkillsUSA lead advisor, told the group.
SkillsUSA is a national program that builds leadership skills and supports career and technical education, Vadgama said. Many of the students who worked Saturday will participate in SkillsUSA Leadership and Skills competitions at the regional level, with gold, silver and bronze medalists advancing to the state and possibly even national competitions.
Nicholas Acosta, co-president of Downey High’s SkillsUSA team, was happy with the volunteer turnout and with the enthusiasm of his peers. “I like to see students involved not only in school but in the community,” he said.
Dare 2B Digital event featured presentations by leaders in cutting-edge technologies such as virtual reality, space exploration and digital entertainment. NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Southern California Edison were among the presenters. The event also included appearances by celebrities Kevin McHale of “Glee,” YouTube stars such as Leo Camacho, and others.
The event was made possible through a partnership between Downey Unified School District and Invent Your Future Enterprises, with grant funding from the California Career Pathways Trust. Promoting careers in science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM), Dare 2B Digital aims to inspire young innovators through interactive, hands-on learning experiences.