SOWELA Students Dominate at Statewide Competition

Southwest Louisiana Students Placed in Top Three of Every Competition Entered

SOWELA’s SkillsUSA team group photo
SOWELA’s SkillsUSA team showcased impressive talent at the state competition, featuring medalists like Jacob Jewell, Chloe Peloquin, and Pedro Carlucci, alongside dedicated instructors and advisors including Thunder John, Chef Dameon Fusilier, and Dr. Kathy Lewis-Thomas. The team boasted a mix of gold, silver, and bronze winners, including Caitlyn Dionne, Casey Jones, and Lexi Arabie.

Lake Charles, Louisiana – Friday, April 26

SOWELA Technical Community College students brought home 17 medals at the Louisiana SkillsUSA competition April 10-12 in Alexandria, LA, placing in the top three of each contest entered. The team consisted of students in the Digital Arts and Communication and Culinary Arts programs.

“This is a first for SOWELA,” said SkillsUSA Advisor and Digital Arts and Communication Instructor Darrell Buck. “We always do well but I believe this is the first time that we had students medal in every contest we entered. I’m extremely proud of our students and can’t wait to see them compete at nationals. They are truly a talented and dedicated group of students.”

Category winners include:

  • Advertising Design – Gold: Madeleine Guillory, Silver: Rebeca Renderos, Bronze: Zoe Crawford.
  • Commercial Baking – Gold: Chloe Peloquin.
  • Restaurant Service – Gold: David Legros.
  • Culinary Arts – Bronze: Damon Lewis.
  • Television Production (team competition) – Gold: Pedro Carlucci and Aaron Burleigh, Silver: Lily Hebert and Jacob Jewell.
  • Digital Cinema (team competition) – Bronze: Matt Dye and Connor Couvillion.
  • State Pin Design – Gold: Madeleine Guillory, Bronze: Rebeca Renderos.
  • State T-shirt Design – Gold: Madeleine Guillory, Silver: Rebeca Renderos.
  • Photography – Gold: Caitlyn Dionne.
  • Audio Radio Production (team competition) – Gold: Sophie Candler and Sadie Soileau, Silver: Casey Jones and Conner Miller, Bronze: Lexi Arabie and Adagio Byrd.

Madeleine Guillory was also recognized for winning both national pin and t-shirt design competitions. Her submissions will be on the official pin and t-shirt for the 2024 SkillsUSA National Student Leadership Conference.

2024 SkillsUSA National Student Leadership Conference T-shirt and Pin

SOWELA students competed in a total of 10 state contests. Industry, trade associations and labor organizations help run the contests and set test competencies. Gold medalists advance to the national SkillsUSA competition held in June to compete with state winners nationwide.

Summer and Fall 2024 registration is now open for all interested individuals who want to enroll at SOWELA in any of its 30-plus academic programs at all four locations in Southwest Louisiana. Students can apply at Apply Now.

For more information, visit SOWELA. Anyone needing additional assistance can contact

About SkillsUSA

SkillsUSA is a vital solution to the growing U.S. skills gap. The nonprofit partnership of students, instructors and industry ensures America has the skilled workforce it needs to stay competitive. Endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education, the association serves more than 335,000-member students and instructors each year in middle schools, high schools and colleges. This diverse talent pipeline covers 130 trade, technical and skilled service occupations, the majority STEM-related. More than 600 corporations, trade associations, businesses and labor unions actively support SkillsUSA at the national level. SkillsUSA empowers its members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens as it improves the quality of our nation’s future skilled workforce. SkillsUSA supports its student members through the development of SkillsUSA Framework skills that include personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics. Local, state and national championships, designed and judged by industry, set relevant standards for career and technical education and provide recognition opportunities for students. SkillsUSA also offers technical skill assessments and workplace credentials through the SkillsUSA Career Essentials program, a cutting-edge solution that defines, implements and measures career readiness skills for students.

SOWELA Technical Community College

SOWELA Technical Community College provides traditional, distance, and lifelong learning experiences and awards associate degrees, technical diplomas, and certificates. The College empowers learners in career and technical education and enables transfer students to pursue a four-year degree, so all learners excel as globally competitive citizens. The College has been educating the region’s workforce for more than 85 years.

3820 Senator J. Bennett Johnston Avenue
Lake Charles, Louisiana 70615
(337) 421-6565
(800) 256-0483

Mon-Thu: 7:45 AM to 4:15 PM
Friday: 7:45 AM to 12:00 PM
(337) 421-6550

SOWELA Technical Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, disability, or age in its programs and activities. The following person(s) have been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies:

Title IX Officer

Candy Parker

(337) 421-6510 or (800) 256-0483

3820 Sen. J. Bennett Johnston Ave. Lake Charles, LA 70615

ADA Officer

Maegan Lewis

(337) 421-6952 or (800) 256-0483

3850 Sen. J. Bennett Johnston Ave. Lake Charles, LA 70615

©2024 SOWELA Technical Community College, All Rights Reserved. | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Sitemap | Website Accessibility