DOWNEY − Twenty-six Downey Unified SkillsUSA gold medalists traveled to Louisville, Ky., on June 22 to represent California in the National SkillsUSA Competition.
Four students earned gold medals at the national level, making them United States champions.
Receiving a gold medal in the Principles of Engineering Technology division was Hannah Rodriguez, who will be attending Cal Poly Pomona as an Engineering major in the fall.
“It was such a surreal experience and I couldn’t believe they called my name,” said Rodriguez when asked about her feelings of becoming a national champion. “I am very proud and I know I wouldn’t have made it this far without the support of my advisor Mr. Yamo, he encouraged me to get to this point even when I didn’t want to be pushed. That I’m very thankful for.”
Also receiving gold medals and moving on to the world competition was the three-person team of Giselle Ramos, Anthony Laverde and Sonia Gomez, in the category of Career Pathway Showcase-Health Science.
In this competition, students had to create a visual aid which would entail what they are doing currently in the classroom in regard to health science, what they are doing in the community and what they plan on doing in the future. A large focus was placed on the student’s involvement within the community, as well as having to present and be interviewed by a panel of judges on this topic.
“I am very proud of my students and the work they did,” stated Chris Zessau, Career Pathway Showcase Health Science advisor. “I am also thankful for the support we received from the district; so many other schools had to struggle just to get to Louisville and it was a great feeling to know that we were supported wholeheartedly.”
Downey Unified high school students, along with their advisors/teachers, were delegates for the state of California competing against other high schools across the nation. Nationally, SkillsUSA serves more than 310,000 high schools, colleges, postsecondary and middle school students who participate in 100 different skills and leadership competitions.
This year, Downey Unified students from both Downey and Warren high schools competed in the following competitions: Quiz Bowl, Photography, Related Technical Math, Esthetics, Principles of Engineering Technology, Career Pathway Showcase-Health Science, Mobile Robotics Technology, Extemporaneous Speaking, Team Works, Health Knowledge Bowl and Masonry.