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SkillsUSA students volunteer in “Day of Service” event for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as part of their American Spirit Project

On Monday, January 21, students from the Technical College High School (TCHS) Brandywine Campus chapter of SkillsUSA participated in the 24th annual Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service. Chapter members volunteered at the “Day of Service” event, which was hosted by the Overbrook Educational Center, an elementary school in West Philadelphia.

Student volunteers participated in the event as part of the SkillsUSA American Spirit Project. The American Spirit Project is a SkillsUSA competition that emphasizes community service, citizenship and patriotism. As part of the project, the students must select local events to sponsor and complete three different projects, including a community service project, a patriotism project and a project that promotes career and technical education. 

The students worked alongside members from other community organizations to help with various projects around the school, which included a beautification project in the form of a school mural, a community service project to benefit a local homeless shelter and a letter campaign to thank veterans.

The community service project involved putting together care packages for the homeless, which were then donated to the St. Barnabas Homeless Mission for Women and Children in West Philadelphia. SkillsUSA chapter members also assisted with the letter campaign, which enabled them to thank their local veterans and community leaders.

Marlen Alpizar-Gonzalez, TCHS Brandywine student and SkillsUSA chapter member, emphasized the value of participating. She stated, “As a returning member of the American Spirit Team and future teacher, I enjoy giving back to my local community. The Overbrook Educational Center hosted a great event.”

SkillsUSA advisor Tom Harner agreed, stating, “It is always very rewarding to work with students who understand what it means to give back to their community. Honoring Dr. King’s memory and serving our community is something we should all do.”

SkillsUSA is a nonprofit partnership of students, instructors and industry experts that seeks to develop the future skilled labor workforce in the United States.

 Students posing with a piece of paper at their MLK day event

Photo Caption:

TCHS Brandywine chapter SkillsUSA students honored Martin Luther King, Jr. Day by volunteering during Overbrook Educational Center’s “Day of Service” event.


(left to right) Alondra Lopez-Garcia, Stephanie Gonzalez-Rojas, Marlen Alpizar-Gonzalez, and Suzi Angstadt 

About the SkillsUSA: SkillsUSA is a vital solution to the growing U.S. skills gap. This nonprofit partnership of students, instructors and industry professionals ensures America has the skilled workforce it needs to stay competitive. Founded in 1965 and endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education, the association serves more than 300,000 member students and instructors each year in middle schools, high schools and colleges. This diverse talent pipeline covers 130 trade, technical and skilled service occupations, the majority STEM-related. More than 600 corporations, trade associations, businesses and labor unions actively support SkillsUSA at the national level. SkillsUSA programs are integrated into career and technical education through a framework of personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics. Local, state and national championships, designed and judged by industry professionals, set relevant standards for career and technical education and provide needed recognition to its students. SkillsUSA also offers technical skill assessments and other workplace credentials. For more information, please visit


About the CCIU: The Chester County Intermediate Unit is an educational service agency that exists to provide quality, cost-effective services to the community and its residents. The Chester County Intermediate Unit administers instructional, enrichment and administrative programs and services to Chester County’s 12 public school districts and to over 45 private and parochial schools in the county. These programs include instructional, remedial and enrichment services for regular and special education students. Other IU services support teachers, school administrators and school directors. The diversity of CCIU programs enables IU staff to interact with school district personnel at all levels and to maintain a cohesive educational network throughout Chester County.