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Tiffany Ashton

Hanes Middle School and Atkins High School, Winston Salem, NC
Student, B.S. Economics with minors in History and Management Information Systems, University of North Carolina-Charlotte
Singer-Songwriter

What did you gain in TSA?

In TSA, I explored the variety of options for my career—from videography to aeronautical engineering to business communications to music.  Currently, I am a singer songwriter who tours, writes music, and performs. The skills I acquired in TSA have proven useful. Being able to stand before a group and present information—whether it is a personal song or a more concrete business proposal—is an essential life skill I learned while in TSA, serving in roles such as chapter president.

The preparation and the attention to detail I practiced in TSA greatly helped me when it comes to the work that goes into making a show a success. The process of identifying a need, brainstorming a solution, and applying a creative touch to the final product is so familiar to aspiring engineers—and also works equally well in the songwriting realm. Most importantly, the vision needed to see the future—not for what we are constrained to now—but for what it can be, is applicable to any and every field and is a way of thought I ascribe to and attribute to my time in TSA.

What advice do you have for current TSA student members?

Try your hand at any and every event that interests you in TSA. When I first started in TSA, I was determined to win one specific event and spent two years focused solely on that event, but my third year I decided to go all in with five different competitions. That year and those competitions changed my perspective on my strengths, my weaknesses, and the direction I was heading in my life.

By my senior year, I had won nationals for Essays on Technology and placed in the Top 10 for Technical Sketching, Debating Technical Issues, and Prepared Presentation—all events I never would have seen myself participating in as a first year TSA student.

If you never branch away from what is comfortable, you will never fully realize your potential, and TSA is a wonderful place to explore your skillset and future opportunities.