- Associated Press - Saturday, August 13, 2016

BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) - Recent high school graduate Brityn Stump is already taking steps to pursue a career in civil engineering.

But despite advancing his aspirations by enrolling into West Virginia University Institute of Technology and a summer internship at Thrasher Engineering, Stump recently took one more step to close out his high school career.

Earlier this year, Stump placed first with a gold medal in architectural drafting at the West Virginia SkillsUSA competition.

That success allowed him to compete at the national level at the National SkillsUSA competition in Louisville, Kentucky.

Now, Stump returns to Raleigh County having placed second in the nation in architectural drafting.

Stump said that for the competition he and his competitors were put into a “real-world scenario” that had them dealing with a customer who gave them what they wanted in a house.

Stump then had to take those requests and turn them into an actual blueprint that featured a 1,600-square-foot “c-shaped” home with three bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms with a courtyard and both private and public sectors.

This wasn’t Stump’s first trip to the national competition as he had done it the year prior. But this year his work earned him a silver medal and the knowledge of being among the top students in the nation with architectural drafting skills.

Stump took courses through the Academy of Careers and Technology in Raleigh County to find a passion for drafting.

“My parents talked me into drafting,” Stump said. “I was going to take computer courses but then they talked me into taking drafting courses instead. Then once I started, I just really got into it and enjoyed it.”

Stump said it was an honor to have competed against the nation’s 45 best students in his category in Louisville.

“It was really cool,” Stump said. “I enjoyed seeing people and talking to people from different places like Alaska, Guam and Puerto Rico.”

However, despite being second in the nation over many other students trying to display their drafting skills, Stump said the silver medal was “bittersweet.”

“When they called my name for the silver medal, my heart kind of sank,” Stump said. “I really wanted that gold medal this year. But I guess being the second best isn’t so bad.”

Stump thanked his instructor from ACT, Matthew Harper, for “guiding me the last two years.”

Harper said that any student who competes at the national level in SkillsUSA has reached a great accomplishment.

“They get the experience of big competition,” Harper stated. “They get to represent the state of West Virginia, and you could tell how important that was to them.”

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Information from: The Register-Herald, https://www.register-herald.com

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