FCCLA takes advantage of new leadership opportunities


Emily Bauman

Members attending the meeting, from right to left, Danielle flesher (11), Melody Holland (11), Mrs. Barbara Bush, Emily Bauman (11) and Ana DeJanes (9). Bauman and Holland are co presidents, Flesher is vice president and DeJanes is a new freshmen who will soon be an advanced leader for this chapter.

Emily Bauman, Staff Reporter

This past Friday the 13th, four Family Community Career Leaders of America members who have shown exceptional leadership abilities attended the FCCLA Illinois State Conference in Springfield, Illinois. There, students competed in statewide events, attended workshops and saw what the state capitol had to offer.

On the day of students left school with advisor Mrs. Barbara Bush as the sun was rising at six am. Bush said, “I’m proud of you guys, you are sticking with FCCLA and are making commitments to be good leaders”.

When the group arrived in Springfield, students first checked in and received booklets, new FCCLA shirts, and themed buttons to be worn to identify themselves as FCCLA members. The three location being used by the conference were the Prairie Capital Convention Center, President Abraham Lincoln Hotel, and Wyndham Hotel in Springfield.

Member and co-president Melody Holland (11) first competed in an interior design STAR event. STAR events are smaller competitions where entries are awarded bronze, silver, and gold ratings. FCCLA also offers state larger competitions where competitors can enter and progress to national levels.

In the interior design competition, which Melody describes as “a short presentation followed by a conversation about a design board created under the theme of the year” is a way to develop and practice skills members hope to one day use in or as their careers.

Other competitions include culinary arts, storytelling, speech making, community service, and childcare in addition to many more.

Those members who wish not to compete attend workshops presented by local community members covering topics that will further their leadership abilities or careers.

Members this year attended and workshop aimed at finding the perfect career for each individual. Attendee Danielle Flesher (11) said, “the guest speaker mainly talked about the insurance business, I didn’t know insurance had more aspects to it than just selling. It was interesting and new information”.

After competing and attending  workshops, members had extra time which allowed for a short walk to the 16th president’s home in Springfield, Illinois. Students were given the opportunity to not only see the preserved 1800’s street and houses from the outside but also take a tour through the president’s house.

Holland said, “I wanted to expect to go to Lincoln’s house today, but we were talking about interior design and how it changed through time and then had an opportunity to see how it was done in the 1800’s so we took it. FCCLA always has an opportunity like this just waiting for us to take”.

After a long and busy day of exploring Springfield, attending workshops and competing, FCCLA members returned to West and have plans of bringing this experience to leadership positions at West while also hoping to return to future conferences.