Downey Adult School student wins gold at national SkillsUSA competition

DOWNEY – Twenty-eight Downey Unified SkillsUSA gold medalists traveled to Louisville, KY, on June 19 to represent the state of California. 

Competing in various areas of technical and soft skills competitions, Downey Unified produced a U.S. SkillsUSA champion for the third consecutive year.

Receiving a gold medal in Practical Nursing was Amy Schwartz, a student from the Downey Adult School Career and Education Center’s Vocational Nursing program. 

After earning all gold medals at both the regional and state competition, students from the Downey Adult School competed nationally in the areas of Practical Nursing, Medical Math and Medical Terminology. 

“It was an honor to have our students participate in the SkillsUSA National Competition this year,” expressed Blanca Rochin, principal of Downey Adult School. “We are proud of our students’ sportsmanship, skills, and professionalism throughout the competition and extend special congratulations to Amy Schwartz, the only national gold medal winner representing Downey Unified this year.”

Downey Unified students, along with their advisors/teachers, were delegates for the state of California competing against other high schools from across the nation. 

Nationally, SkillsUSA serves more than 310,000 high schools, colleges, postsecondary and middle school students who participate in over 100 different skills and leadership competitions. 

This year, Downey Unified students from Downey High, Warren High, and the Downey Adult School competed in the following competitions: Quiz Bowl, Esthetics, Career Pathway Showcase-Health Services, Masonry, Practical Nursing, Medical Math, Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Medical Terminology, CNC Milling, Career Pathway-Services Business and Employment Application Process.

Currently with over 15,000 school chapters, Downey Unified is one of the largest chapters involved in SkillsUSA, with one or more students qualifying for Nationals every year since 2009. Last year resulted in 500 students competing in the Regional Championships, 300 qualifying for the State Championships, 36 making it to Nationals, and ultimately culminating with two finishing as national champions.

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. Launched in 1967, this National Championship has grown from 54 competitors in three contests to more than 6,000 competitors in 99 hands-on occupational and leadership skill areas. 

Adding contests to the championships to meet the demands of new and expanding occupations, their affiliated instructional programs now represent 130 different occupational areas. 

“Downey Unified has grown exponentially within SkillsUSA and is dedicated to do whatever it takes to provide hands-on, job-related experience to students, providing them with the tools to be both globally competitive, and college and career ready,” stated Phil Davis, Downey Unified’s CTE and STEM Director.