Students put skills to test during Battle of Careers

March 25, 2014

LUMBERTON — Cierra Locklear worked briskly to check for a pulse and to stabilize patients in a mock START Triage area at the Battle of Careers Competition on Saturday in Lumberton. The Purnell Swett High School Student competed and won first place against five other competitors for the Public Safety EMT competition. The junior plans to get her EMT License and apply to nursing school after graduation.

“I received a lot of experience from Mr. Eric Freeman for my training. I look forward to doing this when I graduate. I really love being a EMT and saving lives,” she said.

Locklear studies her emergency training through the Public Schools of Robeson County Career and Technical Education program. On Saturday, 172 CTE students from each high school in the county and the Career Center showed off their skills as they competed in the areas of Agricultural Nursery/Landscape, Business, Finance, & Information Technology, Multimedia & Webpage Design, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint & Publisher, Family & Consumer Sciences, Health Sciences Education, Marketing, Auto Technology, Carpentry, Computer Engineering, Digital Media, Drafting, Electrical, Masonry, Motor Sports, Network Engineering, Public Safety, Plumbing and Welding.

The Battle of Careers, which took place inside the Southeastern Agricultural Events Center from 9 until 11 a.m., was the first of its kind in Robeson County for the CTE program. Herman Locklear, the CTE director, said the competition would prepare the participating 10th- through 12th-graders for other competitions.

“The criteria was very high and we can’t say too much on how important it is for these kids to be able to show off their skills,” he said. “The parents were glad we had this, because some students were not ones who participated in sports and they had an opportunity to see their child compete and perform at something they did well.”

Malcolm and Starlie Mae Jones beamed with pride as they watched their grandson Joshua bricking a column in the competition. The Red Springs couple said they were proud of their grandson and felt they were looking at the future.

“I think it is great for a child to get early experience and know where he is headed in life,” Starlie Mae Jones said. “It is very exciting to have a program like this, right here in Robeson County where you can come to see your child perform what he has already learned.”

Travell Cummings is studying Motorsports at the Career Center in Lumberton. The 10th-grader won a gold medal for his class in the Motorsports competition, which required him to race a fabricated car.

“It was competitive, but in the end I beat him,” Cummings said. “I thought this Motorsports class was simpler than it is, but it is not.”

Winners in each Battle of Careers category received first, second, and third place medals. All participants in the competition received a certificate of participation.

This story was submitted by Tasha Oxendine, a spokesperson for the Public Schools of Robeson County.