Student Spotlight: Lincoln Farris

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Student Spotlight: Lincoln Farris

Meghan Mullaly, Staff Writer

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Lincoln Farris has big plans for her future; she wants to run her own car shop. But as a minor, it is difficult for her to work or job shadow in a mechanic shop, meaning she cannot learn new mechanical skills. Because of this, Farris has taken advantage of Mr.Hemstock’s shop classes and now has the ability to problem solve and fix numerous car issues.

She really likes automotive and enjoys the math and mental portion to figuring out how everything works. She also loves working with her hands and is constantly thinking about how she can make parts better. Hemstock noticed her interest, as well as her abilities, and asked her to join SkillsUSA–a program in which students, teachers, and professionals work together to learn and teach skills associated with trade, technical, and skilled service occupations.

In February, Farris, along with peers John Linthicum and Tate Barhaug, participated in a district-wide SkillsUSA competition in Kenai. Even though this was her first competition, she took the top award in automotive. She thought “it was really fun and [she] learn[ed] a bunch of new stuff.” Additionally, she appreciated that “the advisors are focused on reaching out to high schoolers.”

During the last week of March, Farris traveled to Anchorage to participate in another SkillsUSA competition with the theme Career Ready Starts Here. She competed in two events: automotive and prepared speech. While the percentage of boys to girls in the SkillsUSA program is about even, Farris was the only girl in the automotive competition. She traveled to 14 different stations, each consisting of a 20-minute challenge. The challenges ranged from parts-identification to fixing a car that would turn off shortly after being started. She also had to remove a drive shaft, fix air conditioning and windows that would not roll down.

For her prepared speech, she was given 13 prompts to pick from. During her 5 to 8 minute time slot, she chose to speak about her own career readiness. To her joy, she placed second, ahead of the state president who had won for the past three years.

Farris is planning to graduate as a junior and “go to AVTEC for diesel technology.” She will be the youngest student in the program and possibly the only girl. She appreciates that SkillsUSA and FFA have given her the opportunity to work with things like hydraulic, diesel, automotive, restoration, and “anything else [she] could ever imagine.”

Being in these programs will also be impressive to potential employers as having a diesel mechanic license is one thing, but being able to show that she has built her skills through SkillsUSA and FFA will make her more reliable and experienced. Farris is looking forward to her future and can’t wait “to own [her] own shop and design [her] own parts that can be broadcasted to the country.”