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Effingham students compete nationally
08.02 SkillsUSA
Brittany Raymond of South Effingham High School and Serena Lai of Effingham County High School. - photo by Photo provided

Two Effingham high school students recently competed in the National SkillsUSA conference in Kansas City.
ECHS student Serena Lai and SEHS student Brittany Raymond traveled with SkillsUSA advisers Kim Larson and Sheryl Howell June 25-30.

In her first trip to Nationals, Lai competed in the advertising design contest. Her grueling contest lasted nearly eight and a half hours. The first four and a half hours involved creating and designing a logo and ad for a phone named “Pulse.” The remainder of her time tested her technical and mechanical skills by recreating an advertisement. This was a strictly pass/fail event.

“I enjoyed Nationals because it gave me a chance to compete against other designers just as passionate as I am,” Lai said. “At the end of my competition, we had a chance to walk around and look at everyone else’s designs. It was really interesting to see how our program compared to others across the country and to build creatively off of others’ ideas.”

Of 40 students in this national competition, Lai finished 14th.

ECHS SkillsUSA Adviser Kim Larson said, “I am so proud of Serena. She has worked so hard the past four years to get here and it finally paid off. She is one of the most passionate, hardworking students that I have had the privilege to teach.”

SEHS’ Brittany Raymond placed first in state competition the last three years and has attended the national competition each of those years. Raymond competed in the extemporaneous speaking contest and finished fifth in the nation.

“South Effingham was represented well with ‘Mustang Pride, a Tradition of Excellence’ by Brittany Raymond at the National Skills USA Leadership and Skills competition in Kansas City,” SEHS SkillsUSA Advisor Sheryl Howell said. “I am very proud of her.”

SkillsUSA Georgia is the Career Technology Student Organization for students enrolled in trade and industrial, technical, health science technology and service occupations training programs in Georgia’s secondary schools.

SkillsUSA is a nonprofit corporation registered with the Secretary of State’s office with an 11-member board of directors. The board is a policy-making group comprised of SkillsUSA Georgia advisors, other educators and members of business and industry.

Funding is received through monies allocated by the General Assembly and distributed through the state Department of Education.

Other sources of funding include membership dues, and registration fees for attending two yearly conferences.