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Your Own Open-Door Policy

Executive Director Tim Lawrence has known SkillsUSA Q&A as a student member, instructor, industry partner and state director. Got a question? He can help.
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Q: I’m about to finish my technical program. How can I stay involved in SkillsUSA and keep growing?

Tim: This issue of SkillsUSA Champions is filled with inspiring stories of students who faced challenges but still pursued big career goals. They didn’t let family obliga- tions, illness or setbacks stop them. Each found success when a door of opportu- nity opened. That’s one piece of advice I constantly give: Always walk through that door when it opens. You’ll never know what’s on the other side unless you do.

I’m still in awe of the doors that led me to become SkillsUSA’s executive director. There were some risks and challenges along the way, but when those doors opened, I always walked through. I’m extremely grateful that I did and so honored to serve our members and stake- holders. Such opportunities will always be there if you just take that leap of faith.

Speaking of which, our WorldSkills USA team will head to Russia in August, representing you in 20 technical competi- tions. All of these students completed a technical program and left a SkillsUSA chapter. But, because of their success in SkillsUSA, the door opened, and they were invited back to try out for the inter- nationals. This year, the team has been training all over the world, most recently at 3M headquarters in St. Paul, Minn.

What amazing opportunities for a team whose average age is 19 years old. Follow their journey at: www.worldskillsusa.org.

In every SkillsUSA chapter, there’s a spirit of leadership, cooperation, service and integrity. It’s shared by every member, instructor and industry partner. Once you finish school, carry that spirit forward. Become part of your local, state and national alumni network. That way, you can still read SkillsUSA Champions magazine. Joining is free, and it’s a great way to stay connected! Visit this link: www.skillsusa.org/get-involved/alumni/.

As a former welding instructor and state SkillsUSA director, one of my greatest joys was hearing from former students about how they were doing. Stay in touch with your teachers. Drop by for a visit, send email, come back to help your local program or be a state conference volun- teer. Give back to the system that helped you build SkillsUSA Framework skills and find your purpose and passion in life.

Let’s keep spreading the good, walking through doors of opportunity while opening them for others that we can help along the way. I hope I’ll see you at our national conference in June.

Got questions about SkillsUSA or other topics? Email anyinfo@skillsusa.org or send a letter to the address on the facing page. Put “Ask Tim” in the subject line or mail address.

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