A great article from The Daily World about our very own Aberdeen High School SkillsUSA Chapter:
Students traveling to the SkillsUSA national competitions this summer received $1,000 last week from Stafford Creek Corrections Center inmates to help finance the trip as part of the jail’s Inside/Out program.
The program has inmates facilitate fundraisers, with profits raised going back into the community. Stafford Creek partners with local stores to purchase food prisoners otherwise wouldn’t get, such as restaurant food, soda and desserts, to sell to inmates, who purchase the food with their own money. Proceeds are then given to the Inside/Out program.
Joe Williamson, who works in food service at Stafford Creek, works with a group of 15, infraction-free inmates who volunteer to be part of Inside/Out, helping with the fundraisers by passing out and collecting food order sheets.
Last Tuesday, the Inside/Out group presented a $1,000 check to Aberdeen High School Industrial Engineering and Radio Broadcasting Instructor Chuck Veloni along with Montesano High School senior Jacob Izatt, Hoquiam High senior Ryan Talevich and Aberdeen senior Daniel Sipe. All three students will compete in the National SkillsUSA competition held in Louisville, Ky., in June.
Before presenting the check, inmate Robert Hampton spoke in front of inmates involved in the program and the students in attendance.
“We’re proud of you guys. We have all the confidence you guys will win it,” said Hampton, who is serving a 30-year sentence for murder.
Hampton said inmates get excited about participating in the program because they know they are having a positive impact on the community. He added that inmates were excited to see the students, as that’s not something they expected to happen.
“Kids don’t ever say, ‘We want to go meet those guys,’ ” said Hampton. “(Other inmates) are waiting for us to come back and tell them what happened.”
Izatt said he wanted to show the inmates his appreciation by attending the ceremony on Tuesday.
“They’re so excited about this and I wanted to get a chance for us to go and say thank you. It’s pretty cool,” he said.
Veloni will travel with Izatt, Talevich, Sipe and Aberdeen junior Jonathon Ball to Louisville from June 22-26 for the National competition.
“It speaks volumes of the people that work inside here,” said Veloni of inmates’ fundraising work. “People make mistakes, but it’s not what you’ve done, it’s what you’re doing. What they are doing for the community is amazing.”
Congratulations to all participants that competed at the SLSC and good luck to those medalists that will be representing Washington in Louisville this June!!
This year’s NLSC will be held in Louisville, Kentucky, June 23-June 26, 2015.
SkillsUSA is a national organization serving teachers and high school and college students who are preparing for careers in technical, skilled and service occupations, including health occupations. More than 335,000 student and instructors join SkillsUSA annually, organized into more than 15,000 sections and 54 state and territorial associations. SkillsUSA has served more than 10 million members.