PEKIN (25News Now) - Pekin Community High School students took their passions to a national competition last week.

Eleven students competed in Atlanta last week for SkillsUSA, a national organization that has helped students interested in a desired career find a way to learn while competing.

The team placed in the top ten in seven categories, including web page design, public speaking, and cyber security.

PCHS grew its program from six in 2015 to 42 students this year.

That was made possible by a grant for those students wanting to get more involved.

“They all are a little timid going in and it just goes from there,” said co-advisor Eric McCann. “They walk out of there super confident with what they actually do know. All of the sudden it’s relevant that all the things we’ve been talking about in the classroom actually does tie into a career somewhere.”

McCann added it’s great to see students get excited about the program.

“Skills is kind of more than a competition,” said national conference attendee Ronan Scott. “It’s a way for me to connect with the people who are in cybersecurity. Finding people in cybersecurity is hard to do just naturally because you don’t know what people’s jobs are unless you go up and talk to them.”

Scott said he and his teammates are ready to compete again next year and to grow the number of students in the program.

Here is a listing of those who placed in their respective categories

1st Information Technology Services - Kent Olson

3rd Graphic Imaging Sublimation Printing - Trevor Vincent

4th Web Page Design - Morgan Jones-Klotter & Denise Solano

4th Extemporaneous Speaking - Marshal Pruitt

5th Cyber Security - Ronan Scott & Carter Williamson

7th Telecommunications Cabling - Jonathon Wiles

9th Internetworking - Cade Perfetti