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TCHS Brandywine SkillsUSA students partner with Handi-Crafters

Downingtown, PA –Technical College High School (TCHS) Brandywine Campus SkillsUSA students recently completed a day of service with Handi-Crafters in Thorndale, PA as part of their annual American Spirit project. Handi-Crafters operates one of the largest employment and disability-focused support service programs in southeastern Pennsylvania. Each year, Handi-Crafters helps over 400 individuals access rewarding employment opportunities. This year, TCHS Brandywine Campus SkillsUSA students partnered with Handi-Crafters to help give back to an organization that is making an impact in Chester County and beyond.

This year’s theme for SkillsUSA is “SkillsUSA: Champions at Work, Career-Ready Starts Here.” In order to choose a day of service to fit this theme, the American Spirit team for TCHS Brandywine Campus SkillsUSA selected an organization focused on career readiness. The American Spirit team of Suzanna Angstadt, Marlen Alpizar Gonzalez, Alondra Lopez Garcia and Stephanie Gonzales Rojas wanted to support an organization that has a goal of providing opportunities to workers of all abilities.

TCHS Brandywine Campus SkillsUSA student Suzanna Angstadt saw the experience as being valuable because of how rewarding it was for the SkillsUSA students. “I really enjoyed working alongside the employees at Handi-Crafters; they were all so kind, caring and an inspiration to be around,” said Angstadt.

As part of their day of service, TCHS Brandywine Campus SkillsUSA students toured the facilities, learned the history of the organization and watched a demonstration of how Handi-Crafters helps people of all abilities engage in career-readiness. Students assisted with packing materials and interacting with the employees at Handi-Crafters. While many students had not previously known about Handi-Crafters, they left their experience hoping to return.

Stephanie Gonzales Rojas, a TCHS Brandywine Campus SkillsUSA student who participated in the day of service, left the day eager to return to volunteer again. “Living in the Coatesville Area School District, I never knew this organization was right in my backyard. I was happy to learn about it and look forward to volunteering again,” said Rojas.

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

The purpose of the American Spirit project is to evaluate local SkillsUSA chapter activities for projects that emphasize community service, citizenship and projects with patriotic overtones that demonstrate a belief in the American way of life.

The day of service project with Handi-Crafters will be submitted as part of the American Spirit project award competition at the SkillsUSA Pennsylvania State Conference on April 10, 2019.