(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Seven Texas State Technical College students will compete for gold medals at the 59th annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference next week.
Jessica Alaniz, Julia Farris, Melanie Limon, Alfredo Molina, Christopher Paul, Reymundo Salinas and Edna Vargas will represent TSTC’s Harlingen campus.
Amanda Posada, provost at TSTC’s Harlingen campus, said the college is proud to have seven students advance to the national SkillsUSA conference, scheduled for June 19-23 in Atlanta, Georgia
“Over the years, TSTC students have achieved phenomenal recognition at the SkillsUSA statewide and national competitions,” she said. “Having another opportunity to compete in nationals next week and demonstrate the excellence of student skill sets is a proud moment for our students and TSTC faculty and staff. These opportunities create a path for their future and will lead them to great-paying jobs in the Texas workforce.”
Isaac Gonzalez, TSTC’s SkillsUSA statewide coordinator, said the students are training through various methods to be better prepared.
“The students have reached out to industry partners to learn better techniques that will advance their skills,” he said. “Additionally, our instructors have provided them with more scenarios which will strengthen their skill set.”
Alaniz, of Los Fresnos, and Paul, of Weslaco, both Wind Energy Technology students, will compete in Robotics: Urban Search and Rescue. Alaniz said her motivation has been to build a quality robot.
“When I saw my competitors’ robots during the competition in Houston, it motivated me to enhance our robot,” she said. “The category we are competing in coincides heavily with my knowledge in the U.S. Navy. Explosive ordnance disposal robots that are used in the Navy have cameras installed in the technology. They are used to search for the enemy’s hidden explosive devices or to locate a fellow team member who may have been injured. I’m using that technical experience to my advantage while I prepare.”
Molina, of Edinburg and a student in the Auto Collision and Management Technology program, will compete in Collision Damage Appraisal and Total Loss Evaluation. He said he has utilized two of his best resources to prepare.
“I have been practicing at my father’s auto body shop by doing more estimates with total loss automobiles,” he said. “My SkillsUSA advisor (Jose) Vasquez has also suggested being observant of any minor details that can help me score more points.”
Salinas, of Harlingen and a student in the Health Information Technology program, will compete in Medical Terminology. He said he is determined to bring a gold medal back to TSTC.
“I competed in the national competition last year and earned a silver medal,” he said. “I’m being more strategic with my preparation. I have been analyzing situational scenarios, which are conditions of the patient and diseases of the body and matching them to the correct medical terminology. That is my primary focus along with other testing resources. My goal is to bring back a gold medal to TSTC.”
The SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference is a competitive event where postsecondary students demonstrate their educational skills at the highest level. The national stage elevates that performance, and those who flourish receive top honors.
To learn more about SkillsUSA, visit www.skillsusa.org.
Registration for TSTC’s fall semester is underway. For more information, visit tstc.edu.