From the 2018 Region 3 Conference, seven San Gabriel students qualified and competed in the SkillsUSA California 51st Annual Leadership and Skills Conference on April 19-22.
This year’s conference was held at Ontario Convention Center with hundreds of events in which San Gabriel took part in, including Carpentry, Culinary Arts, Power Equipment Technology, and Introduction to Automotive Service Technology. The competitors were decked out in accordance to their event, wearing hardhats, safety goggles, and construction attire.
“Before going into this competition, I honestly wasn’t in to win [it],” senior Jimmy Mendoza said. “I had gone in order to see if I could even compete against the students of the entire state of California.”
Junior Kevin Vargas placed second in Carpentry, senior Jimmy Mendoza placed third in Power Equipment Technology, and senior Derek Wong placed seventh in Culinary Arts. In the Introduction to Automotive Service Technology team event, seniors Justin Chann and Rodrigo Medina, junior Bradley Rohn, and freshman Gabriela Esquivel placed thirteenth.
“I was happy because we worked a lot on [preparing for] it,” Esquivel said. “We prepared by studying a lot and listening to what Mr. Bruce [Pardee, auto and welding instructor,] said. [I was] surprised because I kind of thought we wouldn’t win.”
Mendoza described his placement in his event to be allieving of his uncertainties.
“I didn’t think I’d get close to the top three,” Mendoza said. “Then the first name they called was mine for third place, then all my doubts were immediately erased. This was all thanks to my perseverance, my critical thinking, and especially from the tutoring of my auto teacher, Mr. Bruce Pardee.”
Two-year member and SkillsUSA president Justin Chann went to state two times in a row and helped his team for this year’s state conference with his fellow teammates.
“I did it more for my team and not for [myself] because I want to give them a chance to go,” Chann said.
With their placement in states and regionals, the team hopes to accomplish more next year and make in the National Leadership and Skills Conference.