(SOMERSET COUNTY, Md) - Today, high school students from neighboring Maryland counties faced off in the regional round of the Skills USA competition - showcasing their nursing and automotive skills at the J.M Tawes Technology Center.
The winners would advance to the state competition in late April, for a chance to go to nationals.
Rick Stephens of Skills USA said, "To watch these kids come prepare, come compete against each other, to try to get placement to be able to go to states is awesome."
Automotive teacher, Buddy Ward, said, "Skills USA is a huge opportunity for the kids."
Though, Skills USA isn't just about winning, fixing cars, or checking pulses. It's about enhancing the students' lives.
"Skills USA affords our students opportunities like scholarships, helps with job placements," said Ward.
Whether it's under the hood or working with medicine, the students in this competition are learning real life lessons right now."
A nursing instructor said, "It does go well beyond the classroom. These are the important foundation skills to build their career from."
Leo Lawson of the Somerset County School District said, " Competition is a good thing, just like athletics is a good thing in shaping character, learning how to cope with the highs and the lows."
Leah Fetzer won the nursing competition, while Will Bratten won in the automotive skills session. They know they are following the right path to success.
Fetzer said, "I've always grown up knowing I wanted to be a nurse one day, so I was very fortunate to become in this program."
Bratten said, " I just used what I was taught from my teacher and practiced on what I did today."
They will now try to advance past the state round which will be held in Baltimore.