SkillsUSA: LEAD Conference 2018
Eight IVVC students from five different programs attended the LEAD (Learn, Educate, Act, Dream) Conference. The five programs the students came from were Early Childhood Education, Fire Science, Emergency Medical Responder/Technician, Law Enforcement, and Welding. Each student applied for and received a scholarship from SkillsUSA to attend the two-day leadership conference. The goal of LEAD was to provide students opportunities to increase career readiness through experience, understand how to lead a SkillsUSA chapter, and gain a toolbox of skills that can be used to lead others.
Students were divided into seven different “Huddles” or teams to work together over the course of the conference to complete a series of team building activities and to learn about the foundations of becoming a leader. This gave the students the opportunity to meet other students from different areas of the state with a wide variety of backgrounds. Every IVVC student claimed that meeting new people was one of the best things about the conference.
The students learned a lot about effective communication. They went through lessons and activities that taught them about what being a leader means and the kind of person and character it takes to be an effective leader. One student, Hope L. (HBR), said, “It made me realize my actions not only represent me but it also represents my whole family, and I never saw it from that perspective.” Another student learned there’s more to being a leader than just showing someone something. Being a leader includes listening to everyone’s ideas. Lastly, one student learned that there is more than one way to be a leader.
Another important part of the Huddles was preparation for a contest. Every student participated in a contest at LEAD which is also a contest at the State Competition. IVVC’s Rachael A. (Indian Creek), from Law Enforcement, received 3rd place in the Job Skills Demonstration where she demonstrated handcuffing. Perhaps Rachel will fine tune this skill and rock it at State in April! When asked about something they learned from doing the competition, Austin F. (Newark) said he learned the importance of trusting teammates. Jake A. (Parkview Christian) said it was good practice in making eye contact and speaking slowly. The experience of preparing for a competition and then performing builds character and added value to the overall experience.
Every IVVC student who attended the LEAD conference felt it was worth their time and efforts. They all said they learned about themselves, they learned about others, they learned about how to be a leader, and liked how they were able to practice doing a competition. Each student said they would do it all over again.