South Atlanta Student Brings Back the Bronze in National Leadership and Skills Championships
Shaniya Longino, a junior at South Atlanta High School, competed against more than 50 students across the United States and took third place in the prepared speech category at the national SkillsUSA Championships this summer.
After winning first place in the Georgia state contest, Shaniya was awarded a $225 scholarship towards her participation in the national competition, held at the SkillsUSA 54th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. From June 25 to 29, more than 6,000 career and technical education students—all state contest winners—competed in 100 different trade, technical and leadership fields.
“I feel honored to represent not only my school system, but also my state at the national competition,” said Shaniya, the only Atlanta Public Schools participant. “Starting out in the prepared speech category, I was not very confident in public speaking, but because of SkillsUSA I found this to be my passion and natural ability.”
Shaniya delivered a five- to seven-minute speech and was evaluated on voice, mechanics, platform deportment and her ability to present her thoughts on “Job Ready, Day One,” a theme selected by SkillsUSA.
“I met Shaniya in the 2016-2017 school year and immediately knew she was the perfect candidate for the SkillsUSA prepared speech competition,” said Cinzia Thomas, Shaniya’s coach and mentor. “Although Shaniya may come off as shy, she is a great communicator and is able to express her views and thoughts with passion and enthusiasm. As a ritual, Shaniya and I always put in the extra practice the day before competition until the wean hours of the night!”
A total of 142 Georgia high school students competed in this summer’s SkillsUSA Championships, ranking up 38 gold, silver and bronze medallions.
In addition to her bronze medal, Shaniya received $50 and an Amazon Kindle Fire.
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