Students Compete at SkillsUSA National Championship


Sotheara Ly

Riverside City College had one student capture a medal at this year
s SkillsUSA National Championship in Louisville, KY.

Sotheara Ly, a graduate of Patriot High School in Jurupa Valley, took the bronze medal in Graphic Communications. While Ly was the only student to win a medal, three other students did place fifth nationally: Phuong Vu from Vietnam in Graphics Imaging Sublimation; Wade Abbas, Cajon High School, San Bernardino, in Advertising Design; and Daniel Gamboa, Rancho Verde High School, Moreno Valley, in Photography. Daniel Long, ML King graduate, Riverside, also competed by invitation after earning a gold medal in last years nationals.

To be able to compete in the national competition students had to have won a gold medal at their respective state tournament.

“The greatest success of our team this year was the growth of their vocational confidence and clarity in their prospective CTE studies,” Kwokwai Siu, assistant professor, Applied Digital Media and Printing, said. “I have also witnessed an undeniable development and bonding of personal friendships, among our student competitors, which will indeed serve as the origin of their lifelong professional network. Though they competed in individual contests, they returned as one.”

The SkillsUSA Championships in Kentucky are competitive events, showcasing the best career and technical education students in the nation. The event, which is held at the Kentucky Events Center, occupies a space equivalent to 16 football fields. Nearly 1,500 judges and contest organizers from labor and management make the national event possible. SkillsUSA is the largest demonstration career annual competition in the nation. Over 300,000 high school and college-level students participate in regional, state and national competitions yearly. The philosophy of the national competition is to reward students for excellence, to involve industry in directly evaluating student performance, and to keep training relevant to employers’ needs.​