You won’t get very far with flat tires, and the same is true of the Skills, USA, a group at Eagle Point High School. Under the guidance of Matt Boren, this group of talented students—28 in all—is heading for the state competition in April. They will compete in diesel, automotive service, automotive refinishing technology, collision repair, prepared speech, job skills interview, power tech, video product development, T V. product development, electronics, computer applications, customer service and other areas. The local group has placed strongly in the top ten in the national contest several times.
Many don’t know, but Skills USA is a leadership organization where the students are in charge. They elect officers and plan and carry out their own activities. Some of these include community service, professional development, employment, public relations and competition. All of these activities add up to their Program of Work. The group decides on their own activities, and then decides how they are to get those accomplished. Students benefit tremendously, even if they haven’t decided on a career path, based on the values they learn through this program. Skills USA provides the “edge” to help a person succeed in both work and in life.
With the pressures of school work and life, students are faced with a challenge in keeping the tires inflated for the state and national competitions that help to validate what skills they have learned. Fortunately, there are two lifelines thrown to help out with the financial portion of the trial. And at the other end of those lines are two truly unique groups that help reel in that lifeline. One is the Rogue Valley Corvettes, a collection of approximately 100 members, who freely give to support Skills. Since 2006, the Rogue Valley Corvettes has raised nearly $40,000 for Skills USA programs in Jackson, Josephine and Klamath Counties. This money is primarily used for travel expenses to regional and national competitions. The funds RVC has donated translates to over $500,000 in college scholarships.
RVCs’ Annual Fall Classic Car and Truck show generates the majority of the funds donated to Skills USA. The 2013 Fall classic is September 14 at TC Chevy in Ashland. More information is available at www.roguevalleycorvettes.com.
Their other lifeline is the annual Ussary Memorial Car Show which has been jointly sponsored for the past 10 years by the Corvette Club and Skills USA.
Lastly, but certainly not least is the boost they get from the annual Exotic Dessert Auction. This is the 20th year that a portion of the benefits of the auction will help the Skills team. Mark calendars for March 9, then come to the event, enjoy some sugar-filled desserts and donate to a cause that will benefit a young person directly and perhaps all of society in general.