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Broadcast, culinary students win awards in SkillsUSA, advance to nationals

Image by: Ricky Lee

Candice Anvari co-editor-in-chief

Defne Onal managing editor

One student in culinary and four students in broadcast journalism took home first place at the SkillsUSA competition in Ontario, California. These five students will compete in nationals this summer. 

NameAward Category
Junior Sima ArslanFirst Place Commercial Baking
Junior Lila BeroukhimFirst Place Broadcast
Junior Akira CareyFirst Place Broadcast
Junior Sarah HoorfarFirst Place Broadcast
Junior Grace SuomiFirst PlaceBroadcast
Senior Regina BugarinFourth Place Commercial Baking
Junior Natalie GoldFourth Place Broadcast
Junior Eden HatanianFourth Place Broadcast
Junior Natasha JadidolahiFourth PlaceBroadcast
Sophomore Colby GilardianFourth PlaceBroadcast
Senior Tiffany BahariFifth Place Radio
Sophomore Matthew NiknamFifth Place Radio
Junior Sophia BeroukhimJob DemoJob Demo

Going into the competition, KBEV Supervising Producer Ricky Lee wanted KBEV to continue their longstanding tradition of placing at competitions. 

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“Knowing that KBEV swept medals for nearly seven years now at regional and state-level competitions, I really wanted to keep this trend and make sure students had everything they needed to win the gold medal,” Lee said. “I am in a very unique position as I was in the students’ position just until last year, so I really felt emotionally attached from the beginning until the results were announced at the closing ceremony.” 

In order to prepare for the competition, Lila Beroukhim and her team wrote a script for their video, filmed their video and created a notebook of their work. At the competition, they were interviewed by the judges and waited for the results. 

“The competition was great and a really enjoyable experience to be a part of,” Lila Beroukhim said. “My favorite moment was getting gold because it made the trip all worth it. I also loved being able to see what a SkillsUSA competition is like because it was my first time going.” 

Similar to Beroukhim, Lee was “happy” that the students were able to experience the competition in-person. 

“It truly is a unique experience for students as they gather with nearly 2,000 students from other high schools in California. Students not only got to meet judges in person and demonstrate their professional skill sets, but they were also able to connect with other talented students and share inspiration and positive energy,” Lee said.  

For Commercial Baking, culinary students had 15 minutes to look at the given recipes and plan. They had to make two pan loaves of bread, two braid loaves of bread and three bread knots. Lastly, they had to make a pineapple pie. 

“After my extra time was up, I was on the verge of crying because I knew my pie was not going to be fully baked and that I did not let my breads rise. However, I did all my dishes and by the time I was done, the head chef came to the waiting lobby to tell us to come back if we wanted feedback. Of course I went. They said my bread was good but dense due to not letting it rest enough. And that my pie was decent,” Arslan said. 

Commercial baking winners were last to be announced in the awards ceremony. Arslan was “100% convinced” that she was not getting an award. She won first place. 

“Among six regions in California, I was the only one selected. I don’t even know how to feel,” Arslan said. 

Before the competition, Arslan had never made bread in a professional setting which is why she says that she messed up her first dough. 

“Winning feels absolutely unreal, I still feel like I did not win,” Arslan said. “The reality definitely has not set in and I keep playing the moment when they announced my name and I still feel the shock.” 

Click on the arrows below to go through the photo slideshow. All photos are by Ricky Lee.

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