Tulsa Tech Student Elected National SkillsUSA Officer
11/13/2013 8:03 AM
SkillsUSA is a national partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to emphasize pride in work, high ethical standards, superior skills, and life-long education. The professional student organization provides participants opportunities to develop leadership, teamwork, and citizenship skills. SkillsUSA includes over 300,000 students and instructors, with over 13,000 school chapters located in 54 states and territories.
Bailie Henry, an Owasso High School senior who is currently studying her fourth year of pre-engineering courses at Tulsa Tech, and previously served as Northeast Oklahoma’s SkillsUSA District Treasurer, was elected earlier this year as Parliamentarian of National SkillsUSA. Although Ms. Henry is excited about the chance to spend her senior year serving as a national officer, along with the opportunities which are available to everyone who participate in SkillsUSA, she still remembers the first time she discovered the organization.
“On the first day of my sophomore pre-engineering class our teacher showed us a video,” Henry said. “I saw how everyone was having so much fun, the bright lights of the stage, the competition, and of course all of those red jackets. I just knew, I’m going to go there.”
SkillsUSA is a national, nonprofit organization serving both high school and college students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations. It was formerly known as VICA (Vocational Industrial Clubs of America). Each year the SkillsUSA Championships showcases the best career and technical students in the nation. Contests begin locally and continue through the state and national levels, culminating in a multi-million dollar event that occupies a space equivalent to 16 football fields. In 2012, there were more than 5,700 contestants competing in 94 separate events.
Serving as an officer at the national level is very demanding, both for the student and the individual, but Ms. Henry feels the goal is important and the commitment is necessary. This college-bound high school senior is extremely motivated to help bring the same type of experiences, friendships, and opportunities she’s enjoyed as a member of this unique professional group, to others.
“There is so much to be gained from becoming involved with any professional student organization,” Henry explained. “Whether it’s SkillsUSA, Business Professionals of America, or any of the other related groups, the chance to learn more about our profession, to interact with industry, and meet other students who share your interests is really invaluable.”
Maemi Dildy, Coordinator for Career and Technical Student Organizations at Tulsa Tech, thinks very highly of her student and didn’t hesitate when asked why she feels Ms. Henry will be a valuable asset for the organization.
“Bailie is not only a great student, she’s also determined, intelligent and very articulate,” Dildy said. “She excels in both her ability to relate to other students and communicate her passion for SkillsUSA.”
Keeping up with her pre-engineering courses and responsibilities as a national officer will certainly mean some long days ahead for Ms. Henry, but’s she’s very thankful for the opportunity and seems to welcome the challenges with a smile.
“SkillsUSA is one of the best things that has ever happened to me,” Henry said. “It has literally changed my life, and that’s the message I hope to share with younger students.”
To find out more about SkillsUSA, visit www.skillsusa.org. If you’re currently looking for quality business and industry training, exciting classes for high school students, or wish to explore a life-changing career, Tulsa Tech invites you to visit today. For more information, please call 918-828-5000 or visit us online at tulsatech.edu.