San Jacinto College students to represent Texas on national level at SkillsUSA

05.05.2016 | By Jeannie Peng-Armao

Nine San Jacinto College students have earned their spots to the 52nd annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills conference this summer.

The students beat out competitors from across Texas in such divisions as game development, engineering design graphics, automotive, leadership, and health sciences. They were a part of a group of 29 San Jacinto College students who competed in the recent SkillsUSA Texas Competition, where they took home 33 medals, winning 13 gold, six silver, and 14 bronze medals. Three of the winners were also dual credit students. The students who are advancing to nationals are Kallie Ruffino-Montoya, Franasca D’Agostavo, Kyle Walker, Cesar Perez, Bruce Crum, Efrain Fermin, Beth Cleary, Cesar Hernandez, and Ann Goad.

San Jacinto College students make it to the SkillsUSA national level almost every year. They start preparing for the qualifying competition months in advance.

“This was a great opportunity that helped a lot with my college experience,” said Fermin, who won first place in medical math. “It was great spending time with other students preparing for this competition and working with our professor mentors. It definitely helped me to increase the level of problem solving in my field of study.”

SkillsUSA programs include local, state, and national competitions where students demonstrate occupational and leadership skills. The programs help to establish industry standards for job skill training in the lab and classroom, and promote community service. More than 300,000 students and advisors join SkillsUSA annually, organized into more than 17,000 sections and 52 state and territorial associations.

“We could not be any more thrilled with how well this group of students represented our divisions, the office of Student Life, and San Jacinto College overall,” said Pandora Freestone, SkillsUSA advisor and cosmetology professor at San Jacinto College.

The SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills conference will take place in Louisville, Kentucky, from June 20 to 25, 2016. For more information, visit

About San Jacinto College

Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, San Jacinto College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of approximately 30,000 credit students. The College offers 186 degrees and certificates, with 46 technical programs and a university transfer division. Students benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success, and job training programs that are renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.

For more information about San Jacinto College, please call 281-998-6150, visit, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.