Alexander Higgins, a rising Junior at Walton High School has known since he was a small child that he had a love for graphic arts, but he was not sure how to fully express that passion until he took Mr. Dan Campagna’s Graphic Arts class. It was there that he realized, upon the encouragement of Mr. Campagna, that he could excel at Screen Printing Technology. Alexander was very nervous to compete at the SkillsUSA Georgia State Leadership and Skills Conference and he had a hard time adjusting to equipment that was different than what he had been trained on. At the conclusion of his competition, Alexander thought he had placed fourth. “There was one guy I knew I was better than, but other than that I just tried my best.”
His best paid off, as he won first place on the state level in Screen Printing Technology and received a travel sponsorship to attend the National Leadership and Skills Conference. Had it not been for the travel sponsorship Alex is not sure that he would have been able to attend, “Maybe if I had worked everyday, I could have made it here without a travel sponsorship, but then I would not have been able to practice.”
The Screen Printing Technology competition is made up of several stations from quality control check and fast print quality to the proper demonstration of tightening a screen. Alexander wanted to be ready for all possibilities, so he visited several local print shops to train on different equipment. Alexander also interns at Planet Studio, where his understanding of graphic arts has grown.
Alexander has taken an active role in his local SkillsUSA chapter and serves as the Parliamentarian. He also loves the thought of being a part of something so big, and that is recognized on a national level. SkillsUSA has helped Alexander expand his love for graphic arts, but has also given him confidence and business skills necessary for today’s workforce. Mr. Campagna has seen a change in Alex, “He tends to be a quiet, reserved young man with awesome potential.
SkillsUSA has allowed him to work around lots of other students in a competitive environment.” Alexander was rewarded for his hard work and determination receiving a gold medallion at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference.
Submitted by Dan Campagna, SkillsUSA adviser and Graphic Arts teacher at Walton High School.