Spring Lake Park’s FCCLA wins nationally

For an unprecedented second year in a row, a Spring Lake Park High School organization has garnered a national chapter leadership award.

FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) students from Spring Lake Park recently learned that they have been selected as the 2012 National Career Connection High School Winner.

The connection is a peer education program created by FCCLA and designed to teach students how to prepare for career success.

“I’ve been an FCCLA advisor for about 27 years and never have won any of the chapter national awards until last year, and now we won again in the same category with a completely different project,” Lori Henry, FCCLA advisor, said in an interview.

The 26-member group will receive $1,000 along with the award.

This year’s winning project was titled “Building Our Career Path.”

The project involved students giving career tips and information to each grade level at the high school during their class advisory time (similar to homeroom periods).

As part of the project, the FCCLA students sent out a career-interest survey to freshmen students. For sophomores, they worked with the guidance counselor on determining which classes students should take to foster academic success for their careers of interest. They shared tips on sample job applications and interviewing tips with juniors. And, for the seniors, information on how to write resumés.

A junior commented on a feedback survey, “I wish we would have learned about filling out a job application earlier,” Henry said.

In a follow-up survey, 74 percent of the seniors said they learned how to complete resumés from the FCCLA project.

The award, along with the $1,000, will be presented to the SLP chapter in July at FCCLA’s 2012 national Leadership Conference in Orlando, Fla.

At this time, it has not been determined who will attend, but Henry said the winning funds will most likely go toward defraying the cost of students’ travel expenses to the meeting.

“What’s really good is the PR, not only for the students in our school but… it’s good for the community to see support for my FACS (family and consumer sciences) program because it’s not at the middle school anymore,” Henry said.

FCCLA members have been making a difference in their families, careers and communities since 1945, by addressing personal, work and societal issues through family and consumer sciences education.

The national organization has 205,000 members in nearly 6,500 chapters throughout the United States, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, according to FCCLA’s website.

Elyse Kaner is at [email protected]