CO TSA Shares Four Ways to #TalkTSA

A key component of national TSA’s strategic plan is “Telling Our TSA Story.” Tony Raymond is the Colorado TSA state advisor and assistant program director, STEM/Arts/IT, for the Colorado Community College System. He shares several ways to #TalkTSA, as Colorado TSA spreads the word across the state—and beyond:

Partner. “In 2017-18, we have made huge strides,” says Mr. Raymond, who points out that Colorado TSA is collaborating with:

  • The U.S. Navy, to turn a state-only underwater ROV event into a regional SeaPerch competition.
  • The Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum, where Colorado TSA officers will serve as student representatives on the committee responsible for developing the 50th anniversary celebration of the program. 

    And in a new, state-only competitive event, TSA members will design and develop—with guidance from the museum staff—exhibits for the museum’s children’s section.

  • The University of Colorado, on initiatives to connect its programs and sponsors (including LG and others), directly to TSA members.
  • The Society of American Military Engineers (SAME), which invited the state officers to speak at the SAME annual conference.

The result of this speaking engagement led to: a VIP tour of the U.S. Air Force Academy by one of SAME’s members to showcase the opportunities provided by the Academy to students; professionals serving as judge at the Colorado TSA State Conference; a vote to donate $500 to a scholarship fund to send a TSA member to the National TSA Conference; and opportunities for teachers and TSA members to participate in the SAME summer program.

  • Colorado TSA state officers also delivered a keynote speech at SAME’s annual meeting.

 

Cross Borders. Colorado TSA state officers visited “TSA Day” at Casper College in Wyoming—a state without active TSA chapters, so far. The Colorado TSA state officers encouraged middle school students at TSA Day to engage more with TSA, and eventually establish TSA chapters in Wyoming. CO TSA officers provided leadership training, judged competitions, and served as role models and mentors. Wyoming students were invited to attend the 2018 Colorado TSA State Conference. Two schools accepted the offer and competed. “The plan is to continue offering mentorship and technical support through officer visits, training, etc., to the Wyoming students—as well as to afford them the opportunity to participate with Colorado in a state conference until that capacity has been built for Wyoming to host its own,” says Mr. Raymond.

Make the Pitch. At the Colorado Association for Career and Technical Education annual meeting and the Colorado Technology Education Association (CTEA, the local chapter of ITEEA) conference, Colorado TSA state officers explained to teachers how much of an impact TSA has on students. In 2017–18, state officers visited 30+ schools across the state to promote the association. There is a form on the Colorado TSA website, through which chapter advisors can request a state officer visit.

“Serving as a state officer was one of the most significant and meaningful experiences I had during my high school career, as I had the opportunity to share my TSA story and inspire others to become involved in one of the most supportive, encouraging, and motivating communities,” says Cyra Gallano, 2017-2018 CO TSA state secretary. “TSA is a community full of amazing people—not only advisors who believe in your capabilities, but peers who motivate and inspire you to develop as a student and leader.”

“To serve as an ambassador for TSA on school visits means I’m actually getting to know people and how TSA has impacted them. I talk about my story and my passion for TSA, and learn why they are in TSA,” says Cecilia Dauer, 2017-2018 CO TSA state officer-at-large, who adds that the process has helped her emerge from her previously shy personality.
 

Take the Lead. At the annual Fall Leadership Conference, Colorado TSA officers took on a large part of leadership training to promote the five practices of the Student Leadership Challenge. They also hosted a lunch for TSA members and prospective members, such as student council members and representatives from Colorado Creative Careers Student Association, and talked about state officers’ roles and responsibilities and what it takes to become a state officer. What messages are they spreading? “TSA has given me the ability to show my passion for STEM, arts, and IT—and truly apply what I learn in the classroom through various events,” says Daniel Rivkin, 2018-2019 CO TSA state vice president. “Without my experience in TSA, I would not know who I am as a person and where I see myself in the future after high school and after college.”

For more information on these and other ways to spread the word about TSA, contact Tony Raymond at Tony.Raymond@cccs.edu.