SkillsUSA SkillsUSA Champions Spring 2011 : Page 10

In high school (“back when MySpace was cool,” she says), Clayton created Girls with a Voice, a program designed to “help girls love themselves and find their true beauty.” Now she’s planning a new inter-active program called Get Connected, which she plans to take to nearby schools. “I wanted to create a program that helps all teens break down their walls and live above peer pressure,” the 20-year-old says. “I want them to learn to be OK with who they are and know they are somebody in this big world.” An English and marketing student at Red Rocks Community College in Lakewood, Clayton credits the leader-“A leader is someone who knows they are always growing and learning, but also encourages others to grow and learn.” — Casey Clayton ship training she’s received (and helped administer) as a SkillsUSA state officer with helping her become what she calls a “positive promoter.” “Many kids make choices because of peer pressure, but what if that pressure was positive?” she asks. “SkillsUSA has given me the tools to create a sturdy foundation that makes me comfortable being me. It’s the little things that really make me realize how much SkillsUSA means to me. Now, everywhere I go, I want to pump joy or at least a smile into this world.” • Four big BEs of leadership killsUSA members are familiar with leadership concepts. But are you fully aware of the long-term value of developing leadership skills? Here are four tips to help you improve your skills right now, improvements that will pay huge dividends in your future. • Be yourself . Amanda Moreno’s story shows how important it is to be comfortable in your own skin, to be genuine and not try to become something you’re not just to reduce peer pressure. Genuine confidence always shines through. • Be prepared. Whatever you’re planning to tackle, make sure you know what you’re up against be-fore rushing in. Exceptional prepa-ration usually leads to exceptional achievements. • Be flexible. Listen to the opinions of others. This doesn’t mean just being quiet while someone else talks; it means really listening and considering new viewpoints. Great leaders can admit when someone else might have a better solution. • Be aware. Don’t hide from your weaknesses. Confront them, understand them, and turn them into strengths. One of the best tools you can use is SkillsUSA’s Pro-fessional Development Program. Make sure it’s part of your chapter. For more, visit: educators/pdp.shtml . S Go ahead, admit it: you’re not like most people. You’re always looking at menus with a critical eye, noticing things that others don’t. You get excited at the fi rst mention of upcoming farmers’ markets. You plan your weekends around food, and your conversations always seem to gravitate to the next big ingredient or culinary trend. Food is your passion. Here at the CIA—the world’s premier culinary college—you’ll fi t right in! Our talented instructors and amazing facilities will help you master the art of food and gain the business savvy you need to succeed on the restaurant fl oor, in test kitchens, at corporate headquarters, behind a writer’s desk, on TV— wherever your food life takes you. • APPLY NOW! 1-800-CULINARY (285-4627) 10 Bachelor’s & Associate Degrees | Culinary Arts & Baking and Pastry Arts Approximately 90% of students receive fi nancial aid | Financial aid available for those who qualify SkillsUSA Champions Spring 2011

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