Fifteen students from Carbon High School, Helper Junior High and Mont Harmon Junior High attended the FCCLA National Leadership Conference in San Antonio, Texas July 5-11.
FCCLA stands for Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. At the National Leadership Conference, students compete in STAR (Students Taking Action with Recognition) Events, “Competitive events in which members are recognized for proficiency and achievement in chapter and individual projects, leadership skills and career preparation.”
The students worked for months to perfect their projects, work that translated into wins at the state level, qualifying them for national competition.
“I learned if you work really hard, it always pays off,” said Danyan Morrison, who developed a hotel concept with friend Sarah Cook.
Throughout the week, the students competed in their events and presented their projects. In addition, the conference included keynote speakers, leadership instruction, family, career, and skills workshops, and other activities that helped them to learn more about the mission of FCCLA.
Many of the students enjoyed the approach that FCCLA took to teaching the skills.
“During the conference, they referred to all of us as an FCCLA family,” explained Carbon High Student Tatiana Larsen. “That helped a lot of us to really connect and learn. We also learned a lot about service because that is a very important aspect of FCCLA.”
Maddie Barr, also of Carbon High School, who has been elected to serve as the FCCLA State VP of Social Media, agreed. “While attending nationals, you get to network with FCCLA members from all across the country and with this networking comes friendships,” she said. “This year, the leadership training team really focused on members leadership styles, so it was interesting to see what style I had and what type of leadership works best for me.”
Carbon High adviser Daphne Stockdale believes that attending the National Leadership Conference prepares the students to improve the local FCCLA chapter. “Nationals is a great way for students to get ‘the big picture’ of what FCCLA is all about,” she explained. “I love being able to have students attend because they come back with this vision of FCCLA and then they put it to work in our schools. They meet students from all over the country. Those students that judge come back understanding how they can do that much better the next year and get ideas for programs we can implement.”
Some of the students saw an astonishing amount of success with their projects. Larsen and Carla Vela, who competed in the category food innovations, placed second in the nation, scoring 99 out of 100 possible points. They created a healthy snack, fruit leather, and tested it on different focus groups, specifically targeting young athletes. They also had to develop a package and nutrition label, determine pricing and make a display to explain their creation to the judges.
Another team project in the junior category of food innovations saw great success. Canden Stockdale, Jaylee Cox and Mason Rogers placed third in the Pacific region and eleventh in the nation. They created a frozen snack, Choco’ Nana Butter Bites, that were targeted to small children and parents.
Aside from the conference, the students also had the opportunity to visit various attractions in San Antonio. They took a “By Land, By Sea, By Air” tour, featuring breakfast at the top of the Tower of Americas, a spinning building offering an impressive aerial view. They also saw the San Antonio River aboard a boat, and the city by bus, with tour guides to teach them about the history. Other places they visited included Sea World, Six Flags and the Alamo.
Overall, the students agreed it was a great experience.
“Going to nationals provides a lot of opportunities. We always make lots of new friends, lots of scholarships are awarded, there are plenty of fun workshops to participate in to learn or improve basic skills and of course we always have a blast,” said Morrison.
“I loved it. The students loved it too,” she said. “It was a great experience. We had a great taste of history as we learned about San Antonio and as well as learning more about our organization.”
Students competed in the following categories:
Carbon High School – Advisor Daphne Stockdale
Tanner Richardson: State VP of Alumni and Associates
Maddie Barr: State VP of Social Media
Carla Vela and Tatianna Larsen: Food Innovations (Senior), gold medals and second place in the nation
Nick Khiatipes: Advocacy (Occupational), silver medal
Danyan Morrison and Sarah Cook: Hospitality, Tourism and Recreation (Occupational), bronze medal
Helper Junior High – Advisor Susan Heller
Canden Stockdale, Mason Rogers and Jaylee Cox: Food Innovations (Junior), gold medals and third place in the Pacific region
Raychel Briseno: Chapter in Review Portfolio (Junior), silver medal
Shaubre Stockdale and Crystal Nef: Life Event Planning (Junior), silver medals
Mont Harmon Junior High – Advisor Rebecca Van De Sluis
Cadance Magann and Kayse Christiansen: Advocacy (Junior), bronze medals