Students shine at SkillsUSA

Student competing in automotive Published May 24, 2023

College of Lake County (CLC) achieved remarkable success at the SkillsUSA Illinois State Leadership & Skills Conference 2023, with two individuals and three teams earning gold medals and five other students earning silver and bronze.

The gold medal winners earned a chance to travel and compete at the National Leadership & Skills Conference June 19-23 in Atlanta where they will compete against other finalists from state competitions around the country.

Students competed in events including Automotive Collision Repair (Refinishing and Non-structural), Automotive Service, Business/Supply Chain Management, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, and Hospitality and Culinary.

Karina Badillo in Collision Repair Technology and Alex Levit in Early Childhood Education each won individual gold medals.

“Winning was a rewarding experience,” Badillo said. “I had the privilege of seeing all my dedication, preparation and focus come together. I was honored to share the moment alongside the faculty and peers that stuck by me for two years in this program.”

Silver individual medalists included Dale Shea in Culinary Arts, Sylwia Skrzynska in Collision Repair Technology and Miguel Zarate in Automotive Refinishing Technology. David Acosta, Automotive Refinishing Technology, and Daniel Diaz, Collision Repair Technology, won bronze medals.

Brian Gutierrez and Noel Noria also represented CLC in the highly competitive Automotive Service Technology category.

CLC also performed exceptionally well in team competitions, with three teams earning gold medals. Vance Truelsen, Dhruvika Kyada and Lindsey Clements won the gold medal in Crime Scene Investigation; Dalia Gnaladja, Tori Elizondo, Jose Gallo and Genevieve Garcia won the gold medal in Entrepreneurship and Levit and Melissa Munguia won the gold medal in Preschool Interactive Display.

CLC was awarded the gold award for Most Exemplary Growth in Chapter Membership for the 2022-2023 Year.

“It was truly inspiring to see CLC students in their element,” said CLC’s SkillsUSA administrator Julia Peterson. “The competitions at SkillsUSA allow students to showcase the theory and hands-on skill sets they are learning. Having to think critically and troubleshoot in the moment helps build the students’ confidence, affirms their educational choice, and prepares them for careers in the high-skill, high-wage, and in demand fields they are pursuing."