CASS COUNTY, Mo. -- A newly graduated Raymore-Peculiar student is the first and only female firefighter in Missouri history to win first place at the "SkillsUSA" state competition.
SkillsUSA is a national student-organization. Its mission is to ensure America has a skilled workforce.
"Being able to find something that I love and being able to be good at it is just an awesome feeling," Katelynn Jungling said.
Jungling just graduated from Raymore-Peculiar High School and the Cass Career Center. At the age of 18, she's already a fully licensed EMT and is almost a fully certified firefighter.
"It's amazing," Jungling said. "I just like knowing that I'm making a difference and that I'm doing something that not a lot of people get to do."
When we asked her what it was like being the first woman in Missouri to take home the title of state champion in the firefighter division for SkillsUSA, she replied, "Oh, it's amazing."
"Just that moment of knowing that you have accomplished this and you have been able to prove that you are the best at this, it's just really amazing," Jungling said.
The competition is based on an interview, a written test and knowledge of firefighting skills, including a timed obstacle course.
"I actually didn't realize they had announced my name at first. My adviser had realized it before I did," Jungling said.
"She is so driven, so determined, particularly at this young age," said Bill Shaumeyer, fire chief for the Fire Science Academy at Cass Career Center.
Shaumeyer is Jungling's mentor and teacher. He said in his 18 years working as a firefighter paramedic, Jungling certainly stands out.
"A very determined, very passionate, very driven young woman," Shaumeyer said. "I always put 100% into everything that I do."
Jungling plans to become a firefighter paramedic and will attend Crowder College this fall.
She's a district officer for SkillsUSA. She was also a member of the National Technical Honor Society and graduated in the top 10% of her class.
She will now represent Missouri in the national SkillsUSA competition next month in Louisville, Kentucky.