SOWELA Students Win 18 Medals at Louisiana SkillsUSA Competition

Nine Students Advance to National Competition Held this Summer in Atlanta, GA

(Lake Charles, Louisiana – April 11, 2023)

SOWELA Technical Community College students attended the statewide SkillsUSA competition on April 2-5 in Alexandria, LA, for the chance to win gold, silver or bronze medals in occupation-related categories. SOWELA students competed in 13 contests, with students placing in the top three in 11. In total, SOWELA students won 18 awards.

Category winners include Madeleine Guillory, gold, and Braylon Jack, bronze, for Advertising Design; Chloe-Jaid Hebert and Sophie Candler, silver, for Audio-Radio Production; Sabrina Heffron, gold, for Baking and Pastry Arts; Morgan Dykes, gold, and Walter Collins, silver, for Criminal Justice; Harold Duhon, gold, and James Williams, silver, for Culinary Arts; Kourtlen Thomas, bronze, for Photography; Breonta Hammond, bronze, for Practical Nursing; Damon Lewis Jr., gold, and De’Quan Twiggs, silver, for Restaurant Service; Madeleine Guillory, gold, and Cameryn Schexnider, silver, for the State Pin Design; Sophie Candler, gold, and Madeleine Guillory, bronze, for the State T-shirt Design; Matthew Dye and Connor Couvillion, gold, and Adagio Byrd and Chance DeCuir, silver, for Television Production. SOWELA Digital Art and Communications Instructor and SkillsUSA chapter advisor Darrell Buck received the Pillar of SkillsUSA Award.

“The competition that these students undertake is extremely difficult, but the real-world experience, the relationships and the rewards make it all worthwhile,” said SkillsUSA Advisor and Digital Art Instructor Darrell Buck. “It takes a lot of dedication, courage, and work outside the classroom for these students to succeed. Some students never have an opportunity to truly showcase their strengths, but this competition allows that, and that’s what students need — opportunities. Whether they win or lose, it is a learning experience that should not be missed.”

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 2023 registration is now open for all interested individuals who want to enroll at SOWELA for any of its more than 30 academic programs at all four community college locations in Southwest Louisiana. Students can apply through our Enrollment page.

SOWELA was recently named the #1 community college in Louisiana by Niche. The highly renowned online platform also ranked SOWELA in the top 12% of community colleges nationwide. Niche’s rankings are “based on rigorous analysis of academic, admissions, financial and student life data from the U.S. Department of Education and millions of reviews from students and alumni.”

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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.

About 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 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

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