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Flying High at First SkillsUSA State Competition

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TSTC Dental Hygiene students Miriam Sanchez (left) and Diana Rocha recently competed at the 2024 SkillsUSA Texas Postsecondary State Leadership and Skills Conference in Houston. (Photo courtesy of TSTC.)
TSTC Dental Hygiene students Miriam Sanchez (left) and Diana Rocha recently competed at the 2024 SkillsUSA Texas Postsecondary State Leadership and Skills Conference in Houston. (Photo courtesy of TSTC.)
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HARLINGEN, Texas – Recently some Texas State Technical College Dental Hygiene and Emergency Medical Services students won medals during their first time competing at a SkillsUSA Texas Postsecondary State Leadership and Skills Conference.

Diana Rocha, of Los Fresnos, and Miriam Sanchez, of Edinburg, represented TSTC’s Dental Hygiene program at the competition, which was held in Houston. 

Francisco Alvarado, of Harlingen, America Cruz, of McAllen, and Dulce Sosa, of San Benito, represented TSTC’s Emergency Medical Services program.

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Rocha earned a gold medal in Dental Assisting and a silver in Job Interview. Sanchez received a silver in Dental Assisting and a bronze in Job Interview. Both students also won a $250 team cash prize in Photography.

“My instructors prepared me in several ways that I didn’t know were possible,” Rocha said. “The competition put that to the test. I know I’m prepared for my career.”

Sanchez said the event taught her an important lesson.

“I learned having confidence is key,” she said.

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Vivienne Cermeno is the SkillsUSA advisor for TSTC’s Dental Hygiene program.

“My students helped each other by focusing on each other’s strengths and weaknesses,” she said. “(They) would draw on those strengths and improve on their weaknesses.”

Alvarado and Cruz earned silver medals as a team in Emergency Medical Technician. Sosa received a gold medal in First Aid – CPR.

“I would love to compete again,” Alvarado said. “It was exciting and fast-paced.”

Cruz said it was an honor to represent TSTC.

“SkillsUSA gave me confidence in my abilities,” she said. “It was also nice meeting other EMS students and building rapport with them.”

Luis Martinez is the SkillsUSA advisor for TSTC’s Emergency Medical Services program.

“I enjoyed being part of my students’ preparation so (they) could showcase their skills,” he said. “I told them the proof is in their commitment.”

The gold medalists are eligible to advance to the 60th annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference that will be held June 24-28 in Atlanta, Georgia.

SkillsUSA is a professional organization focused on employability, leadership and technical skills that can help college students pursue successful careers and be part of a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA has more than 100 leadership and skills categories. For more information, visit skillsusa.org.

Registration for TSTC’s fall semester is underway. For more information, visit tstc.edu.

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