Melissa Morgan-Meyer, a Southern Oklahoma Technology Center adult carpentry student from Lone Grove, has earned the American Degree, the highest honor a SkillsUSA student can earn.

The award is a part of the Professional Development Program's series of recognitions.

To earn it, students must complete a booklet analyzing and considering their leadership experience, community service work, business ethics and career goals.

Students must do a presentation related to their profession. Morgan-Meyer spoke to area principals and counselors about the SOTC carpentry program.

"I was nervous because I'm not good at public speaking, but I got it over with and it was good," she said. "I wasn't good at talking to people, but doing this has helped me improve."

Morgan-Meyer also had to present a portfolio, take a test on professional development and be interviewed at the State SkillsUSA Convention last week. She was the only Oklahoma recipient for this year and the first Oklahoma recipient in several years.

SkillsUSA offers an International Degree, which can be earned by career-tech alumni after they have entered the workforce.

Morgan-Meyer will finish the SOTC course this spring and plans to get a job at a cabinet-making shop. She also plans to attempt to earn the International Degree.

"I just want to see if I can do it," she said. "It's a really great honor to get it."