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Collision Repair Student Reflects on SkillsUSA Win

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Aug. 4, 2022—A student from the College of Lake County in Illinois is reflecting on and celebrating taking home gold at the SkillsUSA Collision Repair Technology national competition in June. 

According to the Daily Herald, Olivia Peterson switched from a career as a librarian to taking automotive collision repair classes back in 2020. 

At the national competition earlier this summer, Peterson and other students had to showcase their skills in regards to plastic and metal repair, welding, structural analysis and a written test and mock interview. 

Peterson represented what has historically been a small group of women who have received medals at the collision repair technology competition. 

"After two career changes, I found a job with purpose, helping promote women in trades," Peterson said to the Daily Herald. 

While enrolled at the Collège of Lake County, Peterson completed an internship with Gerber Collision and Glass in Crystal Lake, Illinois. They offered her a job before graduation, and she currently works at that location. 

Peterson was one of three College of Lake County students to participate at the national level for SkillsUSA. Peterson enjoyed the competition as well as meeting all of the other students from around the country. 

"My name is now out there," she said. "At the same time, it gave me a chance to evaluate my skillset. The competition tested typical things I do daily in my field," Peterson said to the Daily Herald. 

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