Warren High's Gabriela Silva earns medals at SkillsUSA competition

DOWNEY – Warren High School junior Gabriela Silva competed in regional and state level competitions for SkillsUSA earlier this year. Participating in Crime Scene Investigation and Prepared Speech, she did tremendously well as a representative from the Warren Chapter.

SkillsUSA is a student-run organization that specializes in helping students become educated, experienced, and professional citizens by promoting several fields of academic skill sets.  Students gain confidence in speaking and working with others in meetings, speaking opportunities, attending and facilitating workshops, and giving presentations.

Gabriela has been in SkillsUSA for two years and now serves on the Executive Council and Leadership Board as secretary. At regionals held  at L.A. Trade Tech last January, Gabriela medaled for prepared speech, receiving third place. At the California state competition held in San Diego last March, Gabriela did exceptionally well by once again receiving third place medals for both Prepared Speech and Crime Scene Investigation.

The Prepared Speech skill is a pre-researched and written speech on a topic that is judged on how well the student is able to present his or her original speech within a five to seven minute time frame. Gabriela chose this public speaking skill because she has been in the theatrical drama class her entire high school career and is just about to perform in her eighth play which will premiere in two weeks.

“Prepared Speech helps me to better enunciate my words and keep a professional tone when I speak. I find it easy to memorize and recite the speeches because of my experience in drama and performing in plays where I already do something similar to that,” says Gabriela.

Competing in Crime Scene Investigation was not initially in Gabriela’s plans for SkillsUSA, but she agreed to be added as an alternate. Regardless of her little prior knowledge to criminal investigation, Gabriela managed to work hard and study the skill with determination within the one month she had before state competition. She did a phenomenal job since she and her group received third overall against all the other high school Crime Scene Investigation teams in California.

Gabriela enjoyed participating in Crime Scene Investigation so much that she plans to continue with the skill and compete once more this upcoming year.  She hopes to obtain higher ranked medals for both her skills at the regional, state, and national levels for the 2016 SkillsUSA competitions.

Gabriela owes much of her success to the teacher advisors who aided her in studying and discovering new information so she could do better. Wonderful advisors such as Mrs. Stewart and Mr. Orlinsky did their best to prepare the students from Warren for going into the competitions ready to win.

Through competitions, community service, and professional development, SkillsUSA aims to better the leaders of tomorrow. Gabriela Silva will definitely be career ready in any job field she chooses, whether it be a crime scene investigator, theatrical actress, or even a microbiologist. Anything Gabriela sets her mind to, she has the tools to accomplish from what she has learned through the Warren Chapter of SkillsUSA.

Valerie Aguilar is a student reporter at Warren High School.