SkillsUSA SkillsUSA Champions Summer 2011 : Page 16

People who believe that minorities can’t succeed are wrong. I am alive and well, and I will spread that mindset to all students who believe they can’t achieve — and let them know that there is always a choice, and that choice is theirs. From a follower to a leader I am now serving as the national Region 1 vice president for SkillsUSA. Winning a national election in June 2010 assisted me in completing my goal to motivate other students to excel, no matter their ethnicity or gender. I competed for a position to represent an organization with more than 300,000 members in 50 states, the nation’s capital and the territories of Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. The opportunity to become a leader and positively influence others, including minorities, demonstrates the importance of diversity to me. I have a name tag that says “National Officer.” You can’t get any better than that! People don’t even know what it’s all about where I grew up. I have to explain to my family members what it is, and they’re like, “Whoa!” SkillsUSA helps you think about things so totally differently. You see how other people live in other states. You see that adults don’t judge us as immature, because we are all the same. You conduct business meetings. I also use etiquette now. I never knew about etiquette my freshman year, but I learned it from SkillsUSA. You learn from it, and it does change you. I have excelled beyond what I could have ever imagined. Now I want the same success for everyone. I have removed myself from the list of names of those who don’t want anything out of life and added my name to the list of people who want to change the way they live. Believe to achieve I may not know what my future holds, but that is the beauty of it. I want to anticipate all the possibilities of where my journey will go next, because that’s what happened when I moved to Massachusetts. People who believe that minorities can’t succeed are wrong. I am alive and well, and I will spread that mindset to all students who believe they can’t achieve — and let them know that there is always a choice, and that choice is theirs. Looking back on the times that I cried, laughed, screamed for help, yelled or whatever it was has shown me that I went through a “troubled childhood.” Yet I would not give up my past for a better one, because it’s a past that made the future such a great one. For those of you out there that have gone through a lot or are still going through a lot, I will tell you this: With hard work and a determined soul, life will get better. I am living proof. U Photo: Lloyd Wolf

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