SkillsUSA in "What's Cool at School"

LAS VEGAS - At West Career and Technical Academy, a career-oriented club called SkillsUSA meets weekly, with 60 ambitious teens looking for success now, and up the road.

Club members pick a topic connected to their interest area - learn about their chosen path - and actively work on their skill set to create success during State and National competitions... possibly even finding a future career.

Evan Murphy, the Vice-President of the club said, "Basically what they want to do is take career oriented jobs....something that you can do later on, after high school, and put it to the maximum level."

Club categories include Photography, Design, Nursing, Digital Cinema, Extemporaneous Speaking, Broadcast News, and TV/Video, among others.

For some, it's not a career calling - but general progress incorporated into all facets of life. For example, one student learned to become an excellent public speaker, something he used to struggle with.

SkillsUSA students head to Reno, NV in April for a statewide competition where collaboration and teamwork, working under pressure, and competitive spirit all take root.

Last year, the Broadcast News production team earned 4th place in State, and they hope to find even more success this Spring.

During the four days in Reno, students from different fields are put to the test.

Design students present to judges with powerpoints, Digital Cinema kids have 12 hours to create a short film, Broadcasters put together a newscast in 2 hours....and Photographers create a thematic portfolio with their images, many themes connected to relevant social issues.

Beyond competition, Club Treasurer Parker Badenhuizen summed it up, "I love that it works for me in college, and will work for me in the future, and it's just a fun club, and I really do enjoy everything that it provides for me."

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