Congratulations to North Allegheny senior Dom Gralia for being the first A.W. Beattie student selected to be a SkillsUSA Pennsylvania state officer!
SkillsUSA is a Career and Technical Education partnership of students, instructors and industry leaders, and it affords students opportunities to develop leadership skills to complement what they learn in their chosen career and technical education program. Dom was one of six students in Pennsylvania selected to be a SkillsUSA state officer.
Dom, a third-year student in A.W. Beattie’s Advertising Design program, served as the career center’s 2019-2020 PM Treasurer. He also won the 2018-2019 state championship in the Career Pathways Showcase: Arts and Communications category with his partners, Makena Joseph and Northgate’s Kip Kelly. The trio completed three community service projects and presented the results to a panel of judges before moving on to nationals.
“I had a blast at states and nationals,” Dom said. “It was one of my favorite high school experiences. Being able to be a part of the core foundation of those experiences for countless other students and improving those experiences is amazing.”
A.W. Beattie SkillsUSA Advisor Mrs. Heather Brown, who is also one of Dom’s Advertising Design instructors, encouraged him to run for office.
“Dom showed us early on in the Advertising Design program that he could excel on his own and with his peers,” Mrs. Brown said. “He also displayed leadership skills from day one that he has continuously developed. With that in mind, I wasn’t surprised last year when we began talking about the possibility of him running to be a state officer that he had some great ideas to benefit students from all over Pennsylvania.”
Dom entered the application process with three goals in mind: to make SkillsUSA Pennsylvania the best experience possible and to develop and expand fundraising and scholarship opportunities to fund state competition participation for Pennsylvania Career and Technical students.
“Beattie will pay for us to go to states and nationals if we’re competing, but not every school is able to do that for their students,” Dom said. “I really wanted to work on that at the state level, especially with how things are going right now.”
SkillsUSA Pennsylvania conferences and competitions, Dom said, will be unlike any other.
“Traditionally, where (a pandemic) never happens and everything is normal, we would play it by the book,” Dom said. “We wouldn’t come out and make up an outrageous new plan, but we’re not playing by the book anymore. If we have to do competitions virtually and fall leadership virtually, we have to rewrite the book. We’re going to have some more creative freedom to make a great, interactive experience for everyone who will have to watch from home instead us all being together.”
Mrs. Brown feels he is up to the task.
“We’re heading into unchartered waters, but Dom isn’t the kind of person who lingers on how difficult a challenge will be to overcome,” Mrs. Brown said. “He’ll tackle each obstacle head on. That’s why I have every bit of confidence he will work well with the other state officers to make the best of an unprecedented situation.”