SOWELA Students Receive Silver in World’s Largest Skills Competition


10 Additional Students Place in the Top Five Nationally  

LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA – July 10, 2018

Sky McMillian and David Sonnier, SOWELA Technical Community College Graphic Art students, won Silver in Television (Video) Production in the recent SkillsUSA Championships. This event, by invitation only, was for first place state medalists in 100 competition areas for career and technical students. It is the largest skill competition in the world.

“Attending the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference for the second year in a row was another incredible experience. Bringing another medal home and being able to represent Louisiana means the world to me,” said SOWELA student Skylar McMillian.

“SkillsUSA has been a life-altering experience. Placing in the top three in the nation for what I love to do two years in a row really gives me the motivation and drive to do anything. I’ve never been more confident in my field and I can’t thank SkillsUSA enough,” said SOWELA student David Sonnier.

During the national competition, participants had to work against other students and the clock, proving their expertise. Contests are run with the help of industry, trade associations, and labor organizations, and test competencies are set by industry.

In addition, the following students placed within the top five nationally: Bethany Parker, T-shirt Design; Joel Dees, Prepared Speech; Aspen Keel, Advertising Design; LaShondra George, Medical Terminology; Jade Higginbotham and Tyler Fitkin, Website Design; Sierra Neugent, Justin Trahan and John Janise, Crime Scene Investigation; Kylah Marcantel, Architectural Drafting.

“As an instructor and advisor at SOWELA, I am very proud and honored to have such great students. The competition that these students undertake is extremely difficult, but the real-world experience, relationships and rewards make it all worthwhile. This is our third year in a row winning a national medal, competing against the best in the country. This event allows us to showcase the strength of our students and the training they receive at SOWELA,” said SkillsUSA Advisor and Graphic Art Instructor Darrell Buck.

The SkillsUSA Championships, held in Louisville, KY, took place June 25-29, 2018, as part of the SkillsUSA 54th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC), a showcase of career and technical education students. During the week, more than 6,000 outstanding students competed hands-on in 100 different trade, technical, and leadership fields, including two other SOWELA students who were also invited to compete in their areas of expertise.

SkillsUSA is a nonprofit partnership of students, instructors, and industry that ensures America has the skilled workforce it needs to stay competitive. Founded in 1965 and endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education, the association serves more than 300,000 member students and instructors each year. Local, state, and national championships, designed and judged by industry, set relevant standards for career and technical education and provide needed recognition to its students.

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 80 years.