Department: Success Story

Tawanda Campbell, Debra Hancock, Diana Lopez, Margaret Mosher, Teresa Slack, Sandy Uffelman

After losing four different jobs due to the economic downturn in Florida, single mother Debra Hancock decided it was time to do something to make herself more marketable. She enrolled in the medical administrative assisting program at Manatee Technical Institute (MTI) in Bradenton. Each of her former employers had cut staff or closed, and when…
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Suzanne Raposo

When Suzanne Raposo started kindergarten, she couldn’t speak English, and her teachers couldn’t speak Portuguese. She remembers her teacher asking her to take out a pencil and not being able to find her “thing,” the word she used to refer to her pencil box and just about everything else. Nearly in tears, she tried to…
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Stephanie Usry

Stephanie Usry

Stephanie Usry didn’t get elected president of the Central High student body by standing on the sidelines. She didn’t become SkillsUSA’s national high school president by hanging around, either. She likes to say she stepped into the arena. The Cheyenne, Wyo., teen is no stranger to being involved. An avid athlete when younger, Usry faced…
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Stella Elder and Joel Chan

Ask Stella Elder and Joel Chan what’s new, then get comfortable. You’ll be listening to this mother and son for more than a couple of minutes. Since 2003, the dynamic duo has experienced a new husband and stepfather, a new country, new green cards, new schools, new career paths, even a new tibia. Meanwhile, they’ve…
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Stanley Morency

Stanley “Stosh” Morency

When Stanley Morency was 5, his mother gave him her clothes dryer. He laughs when he tells the story. “She’s probably the one who got me interested in electronics. Our dryer broke, and she said I could have it. I took it apart, took the drum completely out. We put pillows inside it, and we…
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Shreela McFaddan

Shreela McFaddan first picked up a hammer when she was 3 years old. Her family was helping to build a cabin for her grandparents. The little girl just went for it and started hammering away on whatever she could find. “When I was little, I always had the cars to take apart or put together,…
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Sherrie Wilcox

Sherrie Wilcox, a resourceful, “can-do” woman, sold her home and purchased a 58-foot yacht to create a more mobile lifestyle. She soon realized she needed to be prepared if an engine failed while at sea. So, Wilcox enrolled at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Knoxville to study diesel-powered equipment technology. She wanted to…
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Scottie Burchett

Scottie Burchett

Scottie Burchett has been called a true success story for SkillsUSA, and with good reason. Her track record spans 30 years, including time spent both as a student member and chapter advisor. It’s been quite a journey for the onetime 11th-grader who purposefully sat in the back of the class. “I thought, ‘I can sit…
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Sarah McCready

Sarah McCready

For Sarah McCready, who’s currently deployed aboard a U.S. Navy vessel, being a sailor is in her blood. Being a team player is key to her survival. “Without teamwork, my job would be useless,” she explains. “Having to work together is the only way that large tasks can be accomplished and that a maximum result…
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Sandra Timberlake

Stepping out of her comfort zone has led Sandra Timberlake into a whole new world of wonder. Wanting the same for others who’ve been in her shoes, she says her mission is to help underserved populations reach beyond cultural norms. It’s a tall order, but Timberlake’s done it. The Tennessee mother of four began changing…
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