Student chosen to lead conference

A.W. Beattie Career Center has announced that senior Rebecca Hapeman, from Northgate, was selected from a pool of candidates to represent the career center at the 2018 SkillsUSA Western Region Conference, which will be held Oct. 31 through Nov. 2 at Seven Springs Mountain Resort.

SkillsUSA is a national student leadership organization for students in career and technical education programs. The organization focuses on career-readiness, skill-based training, competitions and developing expertise for job interviews, public speaking, problem solving and more.

Hapeman will be one of 10 conference officers who will be in charge of organizing the conference, which will have about 400 students from Western Pennsylvania in attendance. She joined the organization in 2017, because she “liked the competitive aspect of the organization.”

Heather Brown, her instructor and a SkillsUSA advisor, said Rebecca goes above and beyond in the career center.

“As a student, Rebecca is just one of those kids that always wants to go the extra mile,” Brown said. “If there's something that she can compete in or participate in, she's incredibly driven to go for it. When we first spoke to her about possibly running an entire conference of her peers, Rebecca jumped at the chance. It's not something you see every day in a high school student.”

Hapeman was selected to be a conference officer after being given 10 minutes to make a speech, which focused on how SkillsUSA prepares students to thrive in the workplace, to interact with clients and to quickly come up with solutions for projects. She was also tested on her SkillsUSA knowledge and her ability to perform under pressure.

“I wanted to expand my comfort level,” Hapeman, a student in the advertising program, said. “I'm not very good at talking in front of people, so I'm going to grow. I'm mostly nervous in anticipation of going and talking in front of 400 people, but I'm also excited to go.”

She has also learned a lot at A.W. Beattie Career Center to prepare her for the future.

“I originally just wanted to focus on photography,” Hapeman said. “Since I have been at A.W. Beattie, through working with Illustrator and Photoshop, it's kind of extended to me wanting to work on graphic design, too. That's what I'm looking at majoring in, in college, so being here has changed my perspective a lot about what you can do.”