By Lindsey Scott
On Feb. 23 and 24, the Family, Career, Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) club competed in a conference held at the Hawaii Convention Center. They participated in different competitions that included culinary arts, knife skills, food innovation, illustrated talk and focus on children. FCCLA brought home seven gold medals, two silver medals, two red ribbons, which equate to second place, and two white ribbons, which equate to third place.
“The atmosphere (of the competition) was amazing, getting to see students from different clubs like HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America), SkillsUSA, DECA (Delta Epsilon Chi and Distributive Education Clubs of America) and FCCLA was very interesting and seeing how all of them care very much for their clubs and their futures was very touching to me,” said Vice President Senior Isabelle Pe.
Competing against other schools at the conference provided a unique and fulfilling experience for both the FCCLA members and advisors. “Participating (in) the conference (was) a very fun experience. I got to meet people from the other schools that were also in FCCLA. My feelings were all over the place,” said Pe. “I was happy, excited, nervous and sad. I was happy and excited because it’s just an awesome experience and being there with my ‘family’ (my other members) just made the experience even better for me. I was nervous because competing just makes me nervous. And I was sad because this is my second and last year competing and it (is) just sad to think that was the last time I would be going to (Career and Technical Student Organization) CTSO.” Co-advisor Brandon Hanagami added, “(As) far from an advisor’s perspective, it’s just craziness. We’re just running around, all over everywhere, all day. But I mean, I think for the kids it’s a good experience because not only do they apply their knowledge, but I think one of the main things (that) students enjoy is they get to meet students from other schools and other clubs, so it really takes them out of this little community. I mean, it shows them kind of a bigger picture of what else is out there. And I think they just enjoy that social aspect.”
Members of FCCLA worked hard for the past few months in preparation for this conference. Co-advisor Karla Deguchi said, “Then, with their projects, I try to prepare them in the sense that, it’s, FCCLA and their projects are all, even the FCCLA club is supposed to be more student led than teacher led. So, with their projects, they do it, they have rubrics and stuff, so I kind of just help them interpret the rubric and make sure that they’re meeting the higher ends of the rubric so they can get a good score. But, ultimately it’s like their project and it’s their responsibility to get things done.”
Because FCCLA members had to come to school at 6 a.m. every day to prepare for this conference, they created a support system within and outside of the club. Deguchi said, “They’re actually very good at supporting each other. Because of our projects, a lot of times, they’re in the same class or they’re friends because they have to meet outside of class time sometimes, or even during class when they work together, it’s usually someone they sit with. So they’re very good at helping each other.”
FCCLA contributed to both the betterment of its members’ character and their future endeavors. “FCCLA is a club where students in the family consumer sciences can develop personal growth, develop leadership skills and get to see what our future careers will be like, and the (CTSO) enhances that for us. While there, we all participate in different events. There are many different events so we choose one that we would like to focus on that would help for our future or interested careers,” said Pe. “FCCLA helped me learn more about myself. Before I never really knew what specific area of culinary I wanted to go into, but being in FCCLA helped me decide on what I wanted to do. FCCLA also helped me to get some leadership skills. (Being) vice president this year, I had to step up (to) my responsibilities for the club and (it) made me realize what the future is going to be like.”
FCCLA will continue to work to serve their community and their club in future projects and conferences.