February 25, 2014

Washington Leadership Training Institute

On September 21-25th, SkillsUSA RI State Vice President Elena Melekos, attended the Washington Leadership Training Institute (WLTI) in Washington DC. The event was a five day program where the members of SkillsUSA were trained on leadership skills, professionalism, and citizenship. While in Washington the students and advisors attended sessions that covered areas such as the impact of an individual citizen, leadership, employability skills, and many others.

At this year’s WLTI training nearly 380 students represented almost every state across the country. Most of the students that attended are state officers and had to apply to attend the week of events. As a part of the training the students got to visit the SkillsUSA National Headquarters, the Arlington Cemetery, and the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial; at each destination a ceremony was hosted. While in DC every state and their officer teams had a chance to present to Congressmen and Senators on SkillsUSA and the Perkins grant which funds vocational-technical education for students in secondary and postsecondary education.

                The seven secondary officers and Elena, the postsecondary officer for Rhode Island, had the opportunity to meet with Congressman Jim Langevin’s Education Aide Sam Morgante, Senator Jack Reed, and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. Every state officer had the chance to thank them for supporting SkillsUSA and technical education as well as sharing their personal story within SkillsUSA.

Throughout the week the students all worked on their Statesman Awards. This award recognizes students who have demonstrated and have mastered leadership skills and certain requirements throughout the WLTI. At the end of the week countless memories had been made and friendships that will last a life time had been created. The week was without a doubt an incredible opportunity that helped individuals to grow as leaders and people.