Power of Popcorn: Skills USA

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When we think about fundraising, we immediately think about youth sports and activities, like basketball, band, or cheer. In other words, extracurriculars — activities that are certainly an important part of raising well-rounded kids but aren’t at the core of the educational lives of our children. But just because Double Good is great for football and soccer teams doesn’t mean that it can’t do a lot of good in the classroom, too. And you don’t need to be an award-winning superstar prodigy to make Double Good work for you.

Skills USA — Illinois


Skills USA is a national program that provides career and technical education (CTE) programs and competitions that engage young people and help them prepare for the future. Comprised of chapters in every state, there are trainings and events in a dizzying number of categories that all help today’s young people grow into the workforce of tomorrow.

But the crown jewel of Skills USA is their national championships, held annually in Louisville, KY. It’s an amazing event, with over six-thousand contestants from all over the country competing in over one-hundred distinct events. Advancing through the local and state levels to qualify means that the students at the Louisville event are definitely smarter than us.

So, when Payton, Illinois State Champion in Graphics Imaging Sublimation, and her teammates from their chapter of Skills USA wanted to travel to the national competition, they knew they’d need to raise money to make it happen. Both the kids and their teachers had been burned by underwhelming fundraisers before, so they didn’t expect too much going in, but the simplicity of the process really resonated with the busy high-schoolers. Because Double Good’s program allows fundraisers to keep half of every sale, they made their goal more quickly and easily than they ever could have imagined.  

As Payton said, “People ate this stuff up, because when you think about it, it’s not just popcorn. It’s my chance and my classmates’ chances to go and compete…”

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