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SkillsUSA Students Visit DC for Conference

10/3/2022

A sea of red blazers infiltrated Washington D.C. Sept. 17-21.

SkillsUSA members from across the U.S. traveled to the nation’s Capitol for the annual Washington Leadership Training Institute, an advanced training focused on professionalism, communication and leadership skills.

Seven Wylie ISD students attended the Washington Leadership Training Institute in Washington D.C.
Seven Wylie ISD students attended the Washington Leadership Training Institute in Washington D.C.

“WLTI is for district and state SkillsUSA officers to go in and learn to advocate for CTE and CT student organizations,” Mr. David Lanman, Wylie East High School SkillsUSA advisor, said. “Once they learn how to have a voice, we take them to the Capitol building where they meet state reps and talk about how CT courses affect their lives.”

SkillsUSA is an organization that prepares members for careers in technical, skilled and service occupations, including health occupations.

The seven Wylie High and Wylie East students in attendance will use what they learned at the institute to conduct training for other students and advisors at the District 5 SkillsUSA Fall Leadership at Collin College in Wylie.

WHS and WEHS SkillsUSA students at WLTI in Washington D.C. prepared to meet with state leaders to advocate for CTE Funding
Wylie High and Wylie East SkillsUSA students at WLTI in Washington D.C. prepared to meet with state leaders on Capitol Hill to
advocate for Career and Technical Educational Funding.

"I think this group of officers was one of the most enjoyable to travel with and I am very proud of their preparation, professionalism and presentation to Congressman Allred's legislative aide," Addie Downing, WHS SkillsUSA advisor, said.

Wylie ISD SkillsUSA leaders at the Washington Leadership Training Institute (WLTI) pictured on
Wylie ISD SkillsUSA leaders at the Washington Leadership Training Institute (WLTI) pictured on "The Hill" for the
CTE rally later met with Congressman Allred's office.

Besides attending informative workshops, activities included congressional visits, tours of Washington D.C. and its monuments, and laying of the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

Wylie High sophomores Makenzie Bryant, Aayushi Hansalia and seniors Maheera Mufti and Camryn Shupe stand at the home of George Washington at Mount Vernon.
Wylie High sophomores Makenzie Bryant, Aayushi Hansalia and
seniors Maheera Mufti and Camryn Shupe
stand at the home of George Washington at Mount Vernon.

Wylie High senior Maheera Mufti is the District 5 SkillsUSA Vice President.

“My favorite part about WLTI was definitely getting to meet new people from all across the country,” Mufti said, “and even seeing some of the friends I made from the previous year.”

After completing all of the training at the institute in DC, students were eligible to receive the National Statesman award. Six Wylie ISD students received this prestigious award.

Six Wylie ISD students received the National Statesman Award at the Washington Leadership Training Institute.
Six Wylie ISD students received the National Statesman Award at the Washington Leadership Training Institute.

“I had to earn several certifications prior [to the trip], take a SkillsUSA knowledge test and go through an interview with advisors from across the country,” WEHS senior Madison Palmer said. “Our Statesman is proof of our hard work and dedication to this organization on a national level.”

Even before traveling to D.C., students had to complete pre-work to qualify for the National Statesman.

“While we were in D.C., we had to engage in an in-person interview,” Mufti said. “Overall, this trip was an amazing opportunity, and I learned skills that I will carry for the rest of my life.”

WEHS SKILLS Advisor Mr. David Lanman and his students toured all of DC
WEHS SKILLS Advisor Mr. David Lanman and his students toured all of DC.

WEHS SKILLS Advisor Mr. David Lanman and his students toured all of DC.

Palmer is the SkillsUSA Texas Student Officer Advisor.

“This basically implies that I work with all of our district and state officers so that consistently amazing work is created at all levels for SkillsUSA Texas,” Palmer said.

Her favorite part of WLTI was touring Washington D.C.

“I loved getting to meet new people across the country and getting to spend time with those who helped me get to my position today,” Palmer said.

Visit the WLTI website to learn more about this fantaastic program.

“I’m always extremely proud of these kids,” Mr. Lanman said. “They jumped right in there. I think they came back better people than when they left.”