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Friday, June 20, 2014

Nashua teen places first in SkillsUSA competition

NASHUA – Kevin Smith of Nashua High School South placed first in the March state SkillsUSA competition for technical drafting, winning a one year scholarship to any community college in New Hampshire.

Now the 17-year-old student is heading to Kansas City, Missouri next week to compete in the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference for technical drafting. But getting to Missouri proved challenging as Smith had to seek out funds for his travel expenses. ...

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NASHUA – Kevin Smith of Nashua High School South placed first in the March state SkillsUSA competition for technical drafting, winning a one year scholarship to any community college in New Hampshire.

Now the 17-year-old student is heading to Kansas City, Missouri next week to compete in the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference for technical drafting. But getting to Missouri proved challenging as Smith had to seek out funds for his travel expenses.

Just weeks ahead of the competitions, Smith received a scholarship from the mikeroweWORKS Foundation. Former host of Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs Mike Rowe started the foundation in 2008. In a statement released by his foundation, Rowe said he created mikeroweWORKS to “give something back and challenge the prevailing definition of a ‘good job.’ For decades, we have put a premium on a four-year degree, and told an entire generation that trade schools and skilled labor are alternatives to higher education. Hyperbole aside, the skills gap is real. Our infrastructure is crumbling. And our country is scrambling to put itself back together.”

Smith was one of 50 winners of the $1,000 scholarship this year.

The foundation has partnered with SkillsUSA to help students participate in the competitions for the past four years.

Smith’s computer aided drafting and design instructor Lenny Harrison has been participating in the SkillsUSA program for three years.

“When given the opportunity to compete in one of these contests, students raise the bar themselves. They work harder, prepare longer, study more, they come after school to work, they raise money, get dressed up, and meet deadlines all while under the normal pressures of being a high school teen and the added pressure of trying to prove how good they can be,” Harrison said in a statement.

The national SkillsUSA conference runs from June 23 through the 27.

SkillsUSA is a nationwide career and technical education student organization serving more than 351,000 high school, college and post-secondary students and instructors.