COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Shauntee Scott has been affiliated with SkillsUSA since she was 17 years old. Now the SkillsUSA president at Columbus Tech, she will join her team in Atlanta this Thursday to compete in the state competition. If their team gets the gold, they will continue to the national champion in Kansas City.
Last year, the community service team placed third nationwide.
This year, they are planting a vegetable garden on campus to grow produce that will be donated to the residents of Hope Harbor, a domestic violence shelter in Columbus. All of the materials they are using are either donated, free, or recycled.
"Locally grown fresh produce helps the community because it's fresher, it's healthier, and it saves on air pollution," said Scott.
They are growing the vegetables without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or other harsh chemicals. Pesticides kill both bad bugs and good bugs, says Scott. Good bugs, such as ladybugs, eat aphids. Aphids are small insects that suck the sap out of plants.
"You're getting food that hasn't been artificially treated or chemically treated. The only fertilizer we use is organic," said faculty advisor Alicia Anderson.
Various groups on campus are collaborating on this garden. Carpentry students built a tiered garden, wielding students built hooks, and biology students are studying the garden to learn about the growing process.
Some high schools in Columbus also have SkillsUSA teams. In January, Shaw High School students brought home 22 medals from the region championship in LaGrange. Their second and first place winners will also advance to the state competition in Atlanta this month.