Sofia Sanchez

Sofia Sanchez is on her way to Nationals in SkillsUSA

A few clicks here and a few clicks there. Before she knew it, Sofia Sanchez, a junior at White Plains High School, was on her way to compete at the national SkillsUSA competition. 

Of course, the competition was more involved than a few simple clicks on a computer, but its end result proved that Sofia is on her way to becoming a creative and talented graphic designer. 

  Sofia is a student in the Commercial Art program at the Southern Westchester BOCES Center for Career Services. Growing up, she always had an interest in art and enjoyed her high school art classes; however, when she learned about the BOCES program, “I felt BOCES was a better option for me,” she said. 

During the course of her studies, Sofia has become skilled in using Adobe Illustrator, an illustration software program. She recently used it to create a portrait of a K-Pop artist. She said she found it interesting that she could create art on a computer rather than with a pen and paper.  

In April Sofia was among several students to compete at SkillsUSA, a competition where students from different technical programs in the region compete against one another on specific tasks corresponding to the program they are enrolled in. The event was held virtually this year.  

During the regional competition, Sofia was tasked with creating a company logo. Competitors were given a prompt about what the company wanted in the design. 

“We had to make four thumbnails and pick one,” Sofia said, adding that competitors had to complete their logo within a certain amount of time. While Sofia felt stressed because she had to leave early, the time constraints did not play a role in the outcome as she received a second-place medal for her work. 

“I was surprised,” she said. “I wasn’t expecting to win anything.” 

With her regional victory, Sofia was eligible to compete at the state level later in April. It was a timed competition where participants had to recreate an advertisement with specifications provided by SkillsUSA.

Sofia was less nervous during the state competition because she had a better understanding of what the competition’s process entailed. 

The state’s judges liked Sofia’s work and she was selected to compete at the national competition in June, which will be held virtually. 

“I’m excited and a little nervous,” Sofia said. “We will have to wait and see what happens.” 

Her teacher appreciated the effort she put in during the competitions and in her regular class work.

 “She’s a great kid and super talented,” said teacher Damian Powers, adding that he is not surprised she performed well. 

Sofia is a member of White Plains High School’s National Honors Art Society. She is interested in studying graphic design and her goal is to one day study at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.