May 2015

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SkillsUSA National Gold Medalist


Emily Driggers of Elba put LBW Community College back on the national map by winning a gold medal in the SkillsUSA Leadership Conference recently held in Kansas City, Mo., the second esthetics national win in LBWCC’s history.

“I am very excited,” she said. “I was not expecting to win first place. My goal was to at least place, but I am very pleased. There was a lot of tough competition.”

Although she does not yet know her total score, she said she felt confident going into the competition.

“Denise Sauls prepared me well. I knew everything to expect, especially with practical and the written test. That is why I was so confident in my scores because I was so prepared.”

Sauls, LBWCC esthetics faculty, said she joins the entire college staff in congratulating Driggers on her win.

“We are so proud of her,” she said. “She represented LBW well.”

LBWCC’s esthetics program now claims national gold medalists in 2009 and 2013, and a silver medalist in 2011.

“I am so excited for her, the program and the college,” said Tammye Merida, LBWCC associate dean of applied technologies. “All the hard work paid off for both the student and faculty.”

For three days, Driggers competed against 18 other postsecondary state winners and was evaluated on her techniques and professionalism in the field of skin care. She competed in four different areas, including an oral skin consultation, a written exam covering the fundamentals of skin care, sanitation, skin analysis, a hands-on basic facial demonstration, and a day time and fantasy make-up application with a “Wizard of Oz” theme.

She said there were a lot of wicked witches and cowardly lions, but few scarecrows, which is what she chose and then put her own twist to the creation with sunflowers.

“Some did the whole theme with a mixture of all of it. They were all very creative, though. I was very impressed.”

Fellow program graduate Lakeyendal Taylor of Luverne volunteered to be the model for both the state and national competitions.

“She was very supportive and worked hard with me. I am so glad she was able to go and experience everything with me,” said Driggers.

Funds for travel and lodging were raised during the year by selling batteries and holding a fishing tournament at LBWCC in Opp.

“The fishing tournament was a huge success with a lot of community support,” she said.

With a national gold medal now in hand, she has a chance to be invited to compete with the SkillsUSA World Team in Brazil in 2015 and become the second LBWCC esthetics graduate to compete globally. The world competition is held every two years, with the invitation extended to the highest national score.

Meanwhile, she is currently considering various employment opportunities while Taylor returns to her job at a Troy spa. 

For more information on LBWCC’s esthetics program, contact Denise Sauls at 334-493-5328, or visit 

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Lurleen B. Wallace Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges or SACSCOC to award the Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, Associate in Applied Science degrees and certificates. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Lurleen B. Wallace Community College.