Students Gather for SkillsUSA Queso Social


Newcomers to SkillsUSA socialize during the event. Photo courtesy of Phoenix Wang ’18.

Grace Liu, Yearbook Editor in Chief

On Wednesday, Sept. 20, members of SkillsUSA gathered together for their first queso social. The social doubled as the organization’s second club meeting, and members were given more details regarding the schedules and dues for the upcoming months.

Rather than hosting an ice cream social, the SkillsUSA officers decided to mix it up with a queso social instead, an idea that appealed to the 70+ students that attended.

“[The social] was a resounding success,” Chapter Vice President Phoenix Wang ‘18 said. “We had more than twice the number of people that was expected [show up] and we were able to pass out all of the [available] chocolate we had ordered for fundraising.”

This meeting marked the start of chocolate sales for SkillsUSA, a necessary component towards the members’ fundraising credit goals. Students must have at least two of these credits to compete and can gain them through fundraising money from chocolate or from working the UT Football games. Unfortunately, because the sign-up list for the football games has already been filled, students who did not make the list are required to sell chocolate. In addition to having two fundraising credits, members must also have two community service credits that can be obtained from a variety of events.

“I plan to have multiple fun community service opportunities for SkillsUSA members along with some workshops or extra guidance on competitions during our general meetings,” District Treasurer Valika Chu ‘19 said.

The first community service opportunity of the year is the annual Sock and Underwear Drive, which lasts from Sept. 25 to Oct. 12. Though many of the other service credits have become annual practices and traditions, the recent tragedies regarding the Gulf hurricanes has brought forth a new concern that needs to be acknowledged.

“We plan to serve the community through service projects and outreach, while continuing our support for rebuilding communities in Houston that were affected by Hurricane Harvey,” Wang said.

Though SkillsUSA had its initial goods drive earlier this year, it is continuing in their efforts to aid those in need in affected regions nearby. Thanks to the school effort, it has provided sufficient amounts of baby wipes, and feminine hygiene products, and is now asking for gift card donations to be sent to victims in Houston.

After the official meeting finished, members were encouraged to meet new people and socialize during the event.

“I really enjoyed talking to people [at the social],” Andrew Oh ‘21 said. “I’m looking forward to future events (Trail of Lights) and helping around the community.”

Officers and past members answered questions regarding competitions and technical requirements in addition to providing testimonies on the competition and leadership experiences.

“[From the social] I got more of an idea and feel more assured now in terms of competitions and what the club is like,” Anika Srinath ‘19 said.

The officers voiced similar experiences regarding the social.  

“I hope the new members got a better feel for the club from our social and felt more comfortable around the officers,” Chu said. “That way they won’t be afraid to ask us questions and as officers we can help our members and keep our club thriving.”

The SkillsUSA social brought together its members and showed a preview of all the upcoming events of the new school year.  

The social went great,” Chapter President Katherine Hsu ‘18 said. “Lots of people showed up, and I think it was a very successful way to get people interested. My favorite part was when everyone was just enjoying themselves [with the queso]. I think that part of the meeting showed everyone that they don’t have to be stressed about [SkillsUSA], but rather that they should just have fun.”

SkillsUSA will have its next meeting on Oct. 11 with club dues being due on the 15th.