OKLAHOMA CITY (OBV) – Dozens of Oklahoma CareerTech students ventured to the State Capitol this week to speak with legislators about the many benefits they receive from their career and technology education.
The 64 students who went to the capitol on Tuesday are state officers from CareerTech’s seven co-curricular student organizations.
Sen. Carri Hicks, D-Oklahoma City, and Rep. John Talley, R-Stillwater, visited with the students in their respective chambers.
“This day is a phenomenal way to connect our legislators with the future leaders of our state,” said Paxton Cavin, state BPA and DECA adviser at Oklahoma CareerTech. “By meeting state officers from each of the CTSOs our legislators are able to witness the positive impact CareerTech has on students from all around the state, in various fields of study, in K-12 schools and technology centers. CTSOs are changing lives on a daily basis, and Oklahoma is powered by one of the best CTSO support systems, Oklahoma CareerTech.”
De Leon-Barrios, a Metro Technology Centers pre-nursing student and state HOSA – Future Health Professionals officer, wanted to convey to legislators how CareerTech Student Organizations teach students leadership skills and help them plan for the future.
CTSOs help students with personal growth and scholastic achievement, giving them opportunities to develop public speaking, planning and organizing skills. Members participate in community projects, competitive events and leadership activities and meet other students with similar interests, according to a CareerTech news release.
Leon-Barrios is a junior in high school and aspires to be a nurse practitioner. She learned nursing skills and overcame her fear of learning new things, during her time in HOSA, the news release states.
CareerTech State Director Brent Haken and Oklahoma Association for Career and Technical Education Executive Director Skye McNiel spoke with the students before the meeting with legislators.
“It’s very important to share the importance of CareerTech,” McNiel told the students. “We are worth investing in because it’s an investment into these kids.”
More than 95,000 Oklahoma students were members of one of the seven co-curricular CTSOs – Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, Business Professionals of America, DECA, FFA, HOSA, SkillsUSA and Technology Student Association – in Fiscal Year 2022.