February 2015
Volume 8, Issue 1
Photo: Lloyd Wolf
SkillsUSA: Champions at Work,
Celebrate 50 years with 50,000
he SkillsUSA Alumni and Friends Association challenges
alumni, active members and all friends of SkillsUSA to help
us complete 50,000 hours of community service. The
SkillsUSA 50K Challenge celebrates SkillsUSA’s 50-year legacy
of supporting healthy and vibrant communities through direct
community service. As an organization, SkillsUSA’s goal is to
track and record 50,000 hours of service from Sept. 20, 2014,
through June 26.
Service hours logged as part of the 50K Challenge can
include volunteering at any nonprofit organization, school,
community or faith-based organization. Service hours will be
logged through the end of SkillsUSA’s national conference.
Participants can log hours individually or as a group.
Log on to: www.SkillsUSAService.org to register for the challenge, learn more, and to log your hours for the challenge.
Vroom, Vroom, Vroom, Vroom
ne lucky winner will take home
a 2015 Harley-Davidson from the
SkillsUSA National Leadership Conference, following a drawing during the
awards ceremony Friday, June 26, in
Louisville, Ky.
The Alumni and Friends Association
will be the beneficiary of this year’s
drawing. State alumni groups may
sell tickets and
raise money
for their
own state
group or
the national
alumni association. Tickets
are $5 each or five tickets for $20. For
each ticket sold, the state alumni group
selling the ticket will receive $2. State
association ticket sales must end on
May 31. Ticket stubs, unsold tickets and
sales checks ($3 per ticket sold) need to
be sent to Byekwaso Gilbert by June 1.
Keeping connections strong
The winner does not need to be
present for the drawing; however, he
or she will be responsible for picking
up the motorcycle at a local HarleyDavidson dealer in his or her
Any winner residing in
Hawaii, Guam, Puerto
Rico or the U.S. Virgin
Islands will need to pick
up the bike at
the nearest dealer
in the
United States.
This event is
made possible thanks to Harley-Davidson Motor Co. Inc.
For more information, to order tickets
or to sell tickets at your SkillsUSA state
events, please contact Byekwaso Gilbert
at 816-726-4255 or by email to [email protected]
Interested in building a professional network? Here are some tips to
strengthen your connections:
1.Have and be a mentor.
2.Communicate regularly with
those in your network.
3.Build and maintain relationships.
4.Use social media strategically
by posting pictures of yourself
at work in your trade.
5.Join professional trade-related
6.Host events/socialize.
7.Frequently update your contacts list.
8.Volunteer in your community
and trade area.
9.Stay connected to your technical program school and
10.Always be pleasant and friendly in every situation.
Contact your Regional Alumni Coordinating Committee representatives with alumni news or information from your state. Use
the email addresses below or access them through the alumni
website: www.skillsusa.org/supporters/alumni.shtml.
Region 1
Maria Bender, New Jersey • [email protected]
With the help of 15 alumni, the Maine fall leadership conference
was held in October. Both new and seasoned alumni shared
stories and taught leadership sessions. Any alumnus interested
in helping at the Maine State Conference in early March should
contact Emily Hughes at: [email protected]
Region 2
Joey Baker, Florida • [email protected]
Baker attended the Georgia and Florida fall leadership conferences. In Georgia, Baker taught a session on how to remain
involved after graduation. In Florida, Baker trained new advisors
on how to use alumni to lead their chapters and on how to
encourage alumni membership. At both conferences, he presented the SkillsUSA 50K Challenge.
Region 3
Loree Moore, Illinois • [email protected]
Illinois alumni members served as trainers for students and state
officers at the fall state conference. West Virginia alumni are
racking up community service hours for the 50k Challenge and
looking to hold an alumni training session at their April state
conference, where alumni volunteers can register for free.
Region 4
Terry Robinson, Oklahoma • [email protected]
In October, SkillsUSA Oklahoma held a college/postsecondary
event in Norman with 515 members in attendance. Later that
month, Robinson with Darren Gibson, Paul King, Cody McPherson and Shane Morrison attended the Mid-America Conference
in Columbus, Neb. More than 100 students and 40 advisors from
eight states learned how to implement the Program of Work. In
November, Oklahoma alumni held a reunion at Moore-Norman
Technology Center. Displays depicted past activities and events.
After the reunion, more than 100 attended the opening home
game of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Region 5
Coleen Read, Nevada • [email protected]
At the Nevada fall leadership conference, students were encouraged to sign up for the 50k Challenge. In September, California
held an alumni barbecue. In New Mexico, a new state coordinator is working to establish an alumni association.
Contact your SkillsUSA state directors to see when, where and
how you can help with fall conferences.
Alumni Startup/Project Winners
Tennessee and Arizona were awarded the 2014-2015
Alumni Startup/Project Grants. These two states are
bringing together alumni and building a foundation
for future state events. Next year, the SkillsUSA
Alumni and Friends Association hopes to award
four grants.
Join us on Facebook and Twitter: SkillsUSA Alumni and Friends Association.
From feeding the body,
to feeding the soul
Photo: Craig Moore
Regional Updates
by Byekwaso Gilbert
Program Manager, SkillsUSA
rom his days as a culinary arts student to his present position with the
U.S. Department of State, Jacob Donnelly has been on a mission to make a difference in the world.
A graduate of Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical
High School in Franklin, Mass., Donnelly served as the 19992000 SkillsUSA national high school treasurer.
He says SkillsUSA and Tri-County nurtured his interests,
helped him understand the many career options available and
instilled in him the importance of being an independent thinker with the ability to make decisions to meet his own goals.
After graduating from Tri-County, Donnelly attended Babson
College in Babson Park, Mass., where he graduated in 2004
with a degree in business management. While at Babson,
Donnelly started the college’s Amnesty International chapter.
Donnelly then took a management consultant position with
Accenture, a global consulting and technology firm in San
Francisco. He left this high-paying job to co-found the Freedom Campaign, a nonprofit organization that raised awareness of human rights abuses in Burma.
He then went on to earn a master’s degree in public administration/international development from Harvard Kennedy
School of Government plus a master of business administration from the Harvard Business School. While at Harvard, he
co-founded Farm Builders, a company helping farmers replant
trees in Liberia, and worked for the president of Liberia.
In 2011, he joined the nonprofit board of IDinsight and
began working for New Island Capital in San Francisco.
In 2014, Donnelly was appointed as a White House Fellow
to serve at the U.S. Department of State. Founded in 1964 by
Lyndon B. Johnson, the White House Fellows program is one
of America’s most prestigious programs for leadership and
public service.
Donnelly has participated in the Tri-County’s annual alumni
panel. He believes the vocational, hands-on experience TriCounty offers helps students get ahead of their peers.
In September, Donnelly was keynote speaker at SkillsUSA’s
Washington Leadership Training Institute.
Pin down a winning design
killsUSA sponsors an alumni pin design competition open
to all SkillsUSA registered alumni. The winner becomes
the official alumni pin for the 2015 National Leadership and
Skills Conference (NLSC), produced by the SkillsUSA Store
and sold at the alumni booth during NLSC. One design will
be selected.
All entries must be submitted to SkillsUSA. One entry per
SkillsUSA alumni member is permitted. Questions? Contact:
Byekwaso Gilbert, [email protected] Visit: www.skillsusa.
org/alumni-pin-design-competition-4/ for details.