Jessica Wilhelm, a senior at Michigan City High School and Welding Technology student at the A.K. Smith Career Center, is one of only six students in Indiana to receive a 2021 “CTE Award of Excellence.” The prestigious award, presented annually by the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet, honors the state’s top career and technical education students and programs.
Wilhelm received the award at a ceremony earlier this month in Indianapolis, which she attended with her family and A.K. Smith Career Center welding instructor Ray Goss. “Jessica is a natural-born leader and has an amazing work ethic,” Goss said. “She holds a full-time job, and she also finds time to take part in JROTC activities and many extracurriculars. She is an outstanding student in and outside of my Welding class and will go far in her future.”
At Michigan City High School, Wilhelm has participated in soccer, theater, track, softball, German Club, jazz and pep band. She is captain of the girls bowling team and was inducted into the Technical Honor Society and the Thespian Society. She is a student Mentor Captain at the A. K. Smith Center, and has participated in SkillsUSA competitions.
Wilhelm is a cadet Captain in the MCHS JROTC program, and recently received the Alpha Award as the school’s senior outstanding JROTC student. She has traveled to Texas for a JROTC Drill camp, commanded a platoon to a first-place win, and is part of the Rifle Team in the highest shooting category. Wilhelm will graduate from MCHS in June with a Technical Honors diploma. She plans to apply to the Local 597 Pipefitters Union.