Ashdown High School 2012 graduate Sierra Karambellas received a gold medal in First Aid/CPR for the state of Arkansas at the state level and represented Arkansas at the 48th annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Championships in Kansas City in June. Sierra placed 18th of 37 high school competitors from the United States, Guam and the Virgin Islands and received a perfect score in one section -- Infant CPR.
The SkillsUSA National Conference is a showcase of career and technical education students, as more than 15,000 students, teachers, education leaders, and representatives from more than 1,100 national corporations, trade associations, businesses and labor unions participate in the event. The highlight of the event is the annual SkillsUSA Championships with 94 national-level hands-on skill and leadership competitions for public high school and college/postsecondary technical students enrolled in career and technical education programs. It is considered the single greatest day of industry volunteerism in America annually at an estimated cost of more than $35 million. Each SkillsUSA Championships contestant is a state-level gold medalist.
Begun in 1967, the SkillsUSA Championships has grown from 54 competitors in three contests to more than 5,600 competitors in 94 hands-on skill and leadership contests this year. SkillsUSA adds new contests to the Championships to meet the demands of new and expanding occupations, presently representing 130 different occupational areas.
Sierra, the daughter of Michael and Melanie Karambellas of Ashdown, is attending Arkansas State University and majoring in biology with a concentration in pre-med. She was accompanied to the National Championships by Mrs. Amy Silva, Medical Professions educator and SkillsUSA advisor at Ashdown High School.