Hello NJ TSA!
As February is CTE (Career and Technical Education) Month, I decided to write this month’s blog post on how TSA has helped to shape my future career.
In middle school, as a shy 6th grader, I had no intentions of joining any clubs. However, after a great deal of convincing, my older brother cajoled me into attending a TSA meeting. From the very first meeting, I knew TSA was something I wanted to be a part of; I could see that TSA motivated its members and encouraged them to explore their passions. More importantly, I could see that TSA built leaders; at the annual state conference, I always took note of the leadership of the State Officers and the role they played in the organization.
Throughout middle school and high school, I competed in events such as chapter team, essays on technology, extemporaneous speech, and prepared presentation. In eighth grade, I held my first officer position as club Vice President. In high school, I was club Sergeant at Arms, before becoming State Reporter (2016-17), State Secretary (2017-18), and now State President (2018-19). Although I was fascinated by STEM and I loved to learn about technology, I found that my true passions were in parliamentary procedures, delivering speeches, and uniting people in a common goal. As I became more involved on the State Board, my peers and mentors alike showed me the importance of working cohesively with a group, monitoring the fiscal matters of an organization, and ensuring that all decisions are made democratically. By the time that I decided to run for State President, I realized that I wanted to pursue a career in political science. TSA helped to foster my passion for political science through its heavy focus on leadership and its dedication to allowing its students to lead the chapters on a local, state, and national level. TSA involves its members in decision making processes, following Robert’s Rules of Order, and provides them with a feeling of influence. Although TSA primarily prepares its members for a career in the STEM field, I am extremely fortunate to have found my passion through the opportunities TSA has given me.
Thank you, and happy CTE Month!
Your NJ TSA State President, Hannah Valdes