Former Grad Emma Chinchen Shares Her SkillsUSA Story


Photo supplied by Chinchen

Emma Chinchen, former CHS graduate, explains her journey with SkillsUSA.

I was recently challenged with the question: What did SkillsUSA do for you?

The short answer is a lot. As I sit in the break room of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, getting ready to make magic for the thousands of guests I will encounter through my ten-hour shift and thinking about the call I had this morning with State Director Teresa Mankin planning her next Disney trip with Taft High School, I’m reminded how much SkillsUSA really did for me.

Being a State Officer (VP Membership 2015-2016) in SkillsUSA Oregon taught me confidence, passion and gave me a foundation of success that has carried me through my Disney College Program and continue to drive me through my future with the Company.

I haven’t always been able to go up to someone and just start a conversation. It seemed weird and unnatural and like something I would never do. Now, I do that hundreds of times daily. And it all started my senior year of high school when I first started networking with other schools in SkillsUSA.

The passion and pride for my work that SkillsUSA taught me has driven me to receive 20 Four Keys Cards since I started with the Walt Disney Company. These Four Keys Cards are a recognition tool we use at Disney to tell a Cast Member that we see that they’re going above and beyond as they relate to the four keys: safety, courtesy, show and efficiency. I am so proud of my Four Keys Cards and all the recognition I have received thus far.

SkillsUSA will teach you how to be successful beyond winning a medal. My peak was not winning 11th in the nation for Preschool Teaching. That was a step towards something greater; winning the Magical Merchant award for the quarter at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Without SkillsUSA teaching me how to be a leader and network, I don’t think I would be in the position that I’m in. I’ve been able to network with the heads of leadership and am in excellent standing to move up in the Company, very quickly.

SkillsUSA was an invaluable experience that I am grateful to have experienced in the way that I did. The people I’ve met and the awards I’ve won were just the beginning of my SkillsUSA journey.