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George Washington Carver Center Middle School Skills USA Program Wins Gold in State Competitions

Students enrolled in the George Washington Carver Center, Middle School Skills USA program won medals in Creative Photography and Community Service at the state-wide SkillsUSA competitions held on May 8, 2021.

Skills USA Winners
 L to R: Chelsea Diaz, Bryson Marshall, Melissa Diaz, and Jah Mubalama

The team, consisting of 3 Quest middle School students in 7th and 8th grade won 6 metals including Gold medals for their Community Service project this year! Students Jah Mubalama, Melissa Diaz, and Bryson Marshall planned, and implemented a food give-away for youth to have adequate healthy food over weekends. They partnered with the PCCEO Food Bank to distribute food to children ages 18 and under from Carver Center on March 27th and set a goal to give away more than 65 “backpacks” of food. They were also required to take a knowledge assessment, write an essay about their project and its impact on their community and school, and do a videotaped oral presentation to the judges. All events had to be proctored by impartial volunteers to assure integrity to the project.

As a result of their efforts Quest Academy requested they continue the give-away each Friday from their school for the remainder of the school year. By competition deadline they had distributed more than 160 packs of food to youth in their community.

The same three students competed in the SkillsUSA Creative Photography competition. Each student was required to take photographs depicting human interest, a portrait, an industrial or commercial photo, and a landscape. Students had to explain each photo to judges in a virtual video. Jah Mubalama earned the Gold medal, Melissa Diaz won the Silver, and Bryson Marshall won the Bronz!

A big thank you goes out to these mentors: Mr. Wayne Cannon, at the PCCEO food bank, spoke to the students about the values of community service and arranged for them to tour the Food Bank. Mr. Larry Hendricks, photographer, who instructed the students in how to use a camera and take pictures while escorting them around Peoria to find subject matter. Mrs. Marguerite Ross, who share her Toastmaster talents with students and gave them valuable information about public speaking and presenting.

SkillsUSA is recruiting new students for the 2021-22 school year. Students in 5th and 6th grade, 7th and 8th grade, and high school are encouraged to apply by completing an application available from the George Washington Carver Center office at 710 W. 3rd Street. Enrollment is limited to a total of 50 new students.