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Freshman year at Dunbar
High School, the first Microsoft certified school in the world. I was in the technology program, earning certifications.
When I took the
PowerPoint 2010 certification test, I got a perfect score, 1000. My proctor told me about the Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship, which tests students on their exceptional knowledge of a certain Office program.
A month or so
later, I also took the Excel 2010 test, receiving a 975, a near-perfect score. My proctor recommended going for Excel 2010 instead of PowerPoint 2010, since it was a more challenging program.
For months, I trained
in Excel 2010, learning the program and making sure I could do the certification test perfectly. Come May of 2013, I learned that I qualified for the national competition and if I won that, I would proceed to the worldwide competition.
Certiport flew all the
participants to Park City, Utah for the competition. The competition consisted of the certification test and an interview. I messed up on the certification test and did alright during my interview. During the award ceremony, I found out I didn’t place.
My sophomore year, I
was determined to return to the competition. This year, I would be focusing on PowerPoint 2007. I trained even harder, making sure I knew ALL the ins and outs of the program and test.
Again, I qualified for
the national competition. This time it was in Atlanta, so we drove since we’re from Florida. This year, I aced the certification test and felt very confident with my interview. When awards rolled around, I was nervous, yet confident, but still wasn’t sure how I would place. They started calling the winners for my category and..
Leading up the Microsoft
Office Specialist World Competition, Certiport assigned me a mentor to help me study. Every day leading up to it, I had an assignment I had to work on. I was also dealing with interviews, something I was new to.
The competition in Anaheim,
California brought 126 competitors from 83 countries. I met and became friends with not only Americans, but people from around the world. The actual competition consisted of us creating a PowerPoint following their guidelines and adjusting it to look like pictures they provided within 50 minutes. I felt pretty confident after the test, but used up all of my time.
During the award ceremony,
nerves were rising as they gave everyone their certificate of participation. My category came first and they immediately started calling off names. 3rd… 2nd… My mom clutched my hand tight, my heart beating like crazy... 1st…
It took me a
second to realize they even called my name, as I hear screams coming from all around me. I go up on stage, happiest I’ve ever been, legs shaking, knowing I was the first person from the United States to ever win first in my category.
My junior year of high
school is starting up and I know I will be working on qualifying again this coming year, but for Word 2010. I’ll be pushing myself and others to try for this because I know it can be done and my drive is stronger than ever.