Sometimes dreams do become a reality and for one Homestead-Miami Speedway employee, chocolate frogs turned into championship gold.
Angel Acevedo, 25, of Westchester, was recently crowned Postsecondary Gold Medalist of the SkillsUSA Championship in Advertising Design at the Awards Ceremony of SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference held on June 23 in Kansas City, Missouri.
As part of the annual national competition, Advertising Design competitors were tested on technical skills and creative aptitude just as though they worked for an advertising agency. Competitors needed to produce a mechanical/color separation using traditional manual skills of measuring, inking, cutting amber, color registration, photo scaling, and type kerning and leading.
Acevedo's creation of 'Chocolate Froglates', a logo identity and advertisement concept for the Hershey Company, for potential use in the Disney Channel and National Geographic magazine ads, earned him first-place honors and the thrill of his life.
"It's a great feeling," said Acevedo. "To win the competition with such a strong field of entries is really rewarding. I knew that I gave the judges everything that I had technically and creatively. I felt that I was going to make the top five, but when they called my name as the winner, I was in total shock."
During the competition, competitors were tested on their written (100 points), technical (100 points) and creative (200 points) aptitude skills by three panelists from the Hallmark Corporation. Of the 400 possible total points, Acevedo¿s score of 344.1 was enough to earn the Gold Medal and a $20,000 academic SkillsUSA scholarship to The Art Institutes.
Born in Puerto Rico and raised in the Miami area, Acevedo¿s strong sense of family heritage and value of education helped drive his vision of someday earning a higher education.
"It¿s a dream come true," added Acevedo. ¿With the help of my faith and prayers from family and friends, I now have the resources to further pursue my dream of attaining a Bachelor of Science degree in Graphic Design.¿
A first-year student at Robert Morgan Educational Center, Acevedo balances his academic pursuit of a Bachelor of Science degree in Graphic Design with his position as Assistant Special Project Manager for Homestead Miami-Speedway. [His] day-to-day responsibilities include website content design and management, graphic design and multiple creative services for NASCAR¿s Ford Championship Weekend and the IRL IndyCar Series events.
¿We¿re extremely proud of Angel¿s accomplishment of being named Advertising Design Champion,¿ said Homestead-Miami Speedway President Curtis Gray. ¿[His] talents within graphic design are seen every day here at Homestead-Miami Speedway and we feel very fortunate to have him on our team.¿
SkillsUSA is the national organization for students in trade, industrial, technical and health occupations education. It sponsors the SkillsUSA Championships annually to and to encourage them to strive for excellence and develop pride in their chosen occupations.
Homestead-Miami Speedway (HMS) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of International Speedway Corporation, a leading promoter of motorsports activities in the United States, currently promoting more than 100 events at 12 major motorsports facilities annually. Homestead-Miami Speedway is a multi-purpose - 65,000 seat speedway which includes a 1.5 mile oval and 2.21 mile road course that serves home to premier NASCAR, IRL IndyCar Series, Grand Am, USAC, and CCS Motorcycle events each year.
(Image 1- Angel Acevedo¿s Award Winning Chocolate Froglates Design)
(Image 2- Cutline: Homestead-Miami Speedway¿s Angel Acevedo, Postsecondary Gold Medalists of the 2006 SkillsUSA Championship in Advertising Design.)