“Preparing for leadership in the world of work.” This is the SkillsUSA motto that all of us are dedicated to follow as we begin our journey into our selected academy. The motto that we carry with us into our competitions, our projects, and into our future. My name is Ailynn Arenivas, I am the president of the Waco High SkillsUSA organization and I am in the animation academy. I have competed in the 3D Modeling and Imaging competition, 3D Modeling and Animation technical test, and the 3D Rendered Still project; qualifying for state in all my competitions.
For instance, in the 3D Modeling competition, my partner, Jack Buzze, and I had come across problems both the times we have competed. In this competition, we have eight hours to make a 3D animation with the prompt given and take 3D stills of our completed project. The first time we competed, our computers broke down and we had to sit around for three out of the eight hours of our competition waiting for our sponsor to bring us laptops with the right program to work with. When we had received our laptops, we instantly began working and making adjustments to our original storyboard. My partner and I had to remain positive and not let our nerves keep us from turning in our project done to the best to our abilities. We ended up placing fourth out of eight despite the technical difficulties, leading us to compete in the technical test at state. This year, my partner and I remained strong throughout the competition, one of us was doing the scene while the other was working on the props. We had come to a halt when my partner could not find a way to make our props similar to the prompt given; we then switched tasks, letting the other work on what the other could not accomplish. I had been able to finish the prop he had originally thought was a lost cause and he was able to add the right texture and lighting to the scene. However, when the time came to put them together, our models would not import into the other; we attempted to make the models import, but the file refused to combine. We had then placed last in our competition not because we did not try hard enough, but because of the technical difficulties that were thrown our way. Luckily, we had a project to fall back on that we had been working on separately for several months, we both had gotten a superior score on our project, thus having us qualify for state. We were able to support each other as a team and congratulate the other on having done the best they could; that is the hidden meaning of being in the animation academy.
After high school, I will be attending UT Arlington for one year and transferring to UT Austin to continue my college career. I will be majoring in computer engineering and after college, I will be joining the Air Force to be an officer in Cyberspace Communications. While my field of work will not require me to be knowledgeable in 3D modeling, the animation academy has helped me become familiar with the computer itself and how to manage technical software efficiently. In the 3D Modeling and Imaging competition, I have competed with my partner, Jack Buzze, for two years; this competition has helped me with my team building skills and communication skills which will be crucial to be entering the Air Force as an officer. It is not so much the animation part of my academy that will help me in the future, it is the strength to finish what I start, to be able communicate efficiently with my partner, to find a way to solve a problem in my model, and to aid others in spots where I am knowledgeable and they are not. It is much more than just sitting at a computer working for several hours.
Furthermore, looking back on my life after thirty years I will be looking for my personal growth, how I have improved as an individual as time went on. While being successful in my field is important, it will not be everything to me; Was I a leader when people needed me? Did I help everyone that came to me for help because they confided in me? Did I do everything to the best of my ability? Awards and recognitions are satisfying to receive, but at the end of the day, it is just a piece of paper or a slab of metal to have as physical evidence of my achievements. I would like to look back at my life satisfied that I accomplished everything that I wanted to do, to live life with no regrets in what could have been.