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Showcase Leadership Skills in Washington D.C.

October 9, 2018

SAN JOSÉ CA – It’s not every day that high school students have the opportunity to gain an audience with United States Senators and Representatives in Washington D.C. This past September, a delegation of ten Lincoln High School students not only met with staff members from California Representatives Anna Eshoo and Adam Schiff ‘s offices and members from the office of California Senator Kamala Harris, they also had the chance to lobby directly to them regarding education issues. Participating in an intense leadership conference hosted by SkillsUSA’s Washington Leadership Training Institute (WLTI) and held Sept. 22-26, ten of the eighteen students selected to represent the California Student Delegation in Washington D.C. are Lincoln High School students from San Jose, CA.

To qualify, students needed to meet certain prerequisites such as leadership and technology demonstrations, in addition to being members of SkillsUSA, a national association that serves almost 400,000 high school, college and middle school students across the nation; preparing them for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations. While attending the leadership workshops, students learned how to effectively communicate with their legislative representatives and join in conversation around such topics as: the value of public career and technical education; the quality of their education and training; and their occupational plans.  Delegates who participated in the Washington Leadership Training Institute (WLTI) functions and sessions, and demonstrated leadership in action also had the chance to earn the National Statesman Award.  Seven of the ten Lincoln students attending the conference received Statesmen Certificates.

Currently, Lincoln High School is the only SkillsUSA School in the District. “Our Lincoln students were prepared, professional, and honored to be there. They treated it as a business trip, working with advisors from beginning to end. We could see their confidence levels grow following this experience of a lifetime,” stated Nancy Ureña Reid, Computer Science and Math Teacher, and credentialed CTE Information and a Communication Technologies teacher at Lincoln High School. Students attending the conference are part of Lincoln’s Career Technical Education (CTE) Pathways Program and included: Enzo Filangeri, Sunamawit Yimer, Isaiah Gama, Meilyn Wong, Linda Mimila, Adam Henriques, Omar Piña, Paraskevas Paraskevaidis, Jesigga Sigurdardottir,  and Lukas Hunter. AP Government teacher George Adas was co-advisor for this trip.

About San José Unified
San José Unified is an innovative urban school district that prepares today’s students to be the thinkers, leaders, and creators of tomorrow.  Serving over 30,000 students from transitional kindergarten through high school in 41 schools from Downtown San José to Almaden Valley, San José Unified is Silicon Valley’s largest and most diverse school system.

About SkillsUSA’s Washington Leadership Institute
SkillsUSA is a vital solution to the growing U.S. skills gap. This nonprofit partnership of students, instructors and industry 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 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 programs are integrated into career and technical education through a framework of 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 needed recognition to its students. SkillsUSA also offers technical skill assessments and other workplace credentials. For more information, go to: https://www.skillsusa.org/.

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