Los Fresnos News

TSTC Students Bring Home Gold From State SkillsUSA Competition

Alfredo Molina (right), a TSTC Auto Collision and Management Technology student, earned a gold medal in Collision Damage Appraisal and Total Loss Evaluation at the recent SkillsUSA Texas Postsecondary Leadership and Skills Conference in Houston. (Photo courtesy of TSTC.)

(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Some Texas State Technical College students are raising their SkillsUSA gold medals with pride because they will advance to the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference that will be held June 19-23, 2023, in Atlanta, Georgia.

Jessica Alaniz, Jessie Contreras, Julia Farris, Melanie Limon, Alfredo Molina, Reymundo Salinas and Edna Vargas will represent TSTC’s Harlingen campus.

Amanda Posada, provost at TSTC’s Harlingen campus, said she is proud of the students for having represented TSTC so well at the recent SkillsUSA Texas Postsecondary Leadership and Skills Conference in Houston.

“Seven SkillsUSA gold medalists from the Harlingen campus are advancing to compete in the National Leadership and Skills Conference,” she said. “Their achievement is a reflection of the in-demand skills they’ve learned as they pursue an education at TSTC.”

Isaac Gonzalez, TSTC’s SkillsUSA statewide coordinator, said TSTC’s instructors go above and beyond for the success of their students.

“The talent that TSTC produces goes hand in hand with the demands of our industry partners,” he said. “That relationship is an example of the students’ success at SkillsUSA.”

Farris, of Hidalgo, represented TSTC’s Aircraft Airframe Technology program in the Aviation Maintenance Technology competition. She said it was her first time competing.

“It was surreal to be at the competition in Houston,” she said. “Although we were competing against each other, the experience had a sense of camaraderie because each teammate helped each other out.”

Limon, of Harlingen, represented TSTC’s Vocational Nursing program in Medical Math. She said the key to her success was willpower.

“I persevered by balancing SkillsUSA practice and my Vocational Nursing education,” she said. “The additional tutorials I studied after clinicals were worth it. Now I’m looking forward to the challenge at the next stage of the competition.”

Molina, of Edinburg, represented TSTC’s Auto Collision and Management Technology program in Collision Damage Appraisal and Total Loss Evaluation. Molina was another first-time competitor.

“It was interesting to learn how the competitors approached their work,” he said. “My success is because of my father. He owns an auto body shop, and I help with estimating. Those moments helped me during the competition. I wasn’t expecting to win, but I’m happy. My father called to congratulate me.”

Jessica Alaniz, of Los Fresnos, and Jessie Contreras, of Harlingen, won their gold medals as a team in Robotics: Urban Search and Rescue; Reymundo Salinas, of Harlingen, won in Medical Terminology; and Edna Vargas, of Harlingen, took gold in Early Childhood Education.

The TSTC students listed below were also successful in bringing home medals from the Texas state SkillsUSA competition.

● Medical Terminology: Alberto Mendoza Jr., silver.
● Job Skill Demonstration A: Jonathan Zuniga, bronze.
● Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration: James Broe, bronze.
● Medical Math: Jocelyn Galvan, silver, and Reymundo Salinas, bronze.
● Early Childhood Education: Danielle Pinon, silver, and Sagatha Gonzalez, bronze.
● Cabinetmaking: Jess Johnson, silver.
● Aviation Maintenance Technology: Hafez Umar, silver, and Fernando Espinoza, bronze.
● Job Skill Demonstration Open: Daniel Rendon, bronze.
● Mechatronics Team C: Chipman Falls, Christopher Pena, silver.
● Collision Repair Technology: Allison Agundiz, silver, and Vincent Robles, bronze.

The SkillsUSA Texas Postsecondary Leadership and Skills Conference is a competitive event where postsecondary students demonstrate their educational skills at the highest level. The national stage elevates that performance, and those who flourish receive top honors. That opportunity may help students get hired in the Texas workforce.

For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.