Spring Lake Park District 16’s Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) students walked away from their annual state meeting and competition with three golds, one silver and a gold trophy for top ratings.
And a SLP team will advance to the national meeting slated for the week of July 7 in Nashville, Tenn.
The FCCLA annual state leadership conference took place April 11-13 in Bloomington.
“It was beyond our expectations, actually,” said Lori Henry, FCCLA adviser to the group. “The state meet couldn’t have gone any better.”
In addition to the student awards, Henry, during the conference, learned that her chapter, a member of FCCLA’s Region 4, was awarded a national financial fitness project.
The award, in which students taught a SLP Girl Scout troop prudent financial tips, comes with a plaque and $1,000 that will be presented at the annual National FCCLA Leadership Conference. This is the first time the group has won an award in the financial category.
The last two years, Henry’s students scored another national prize for their career connection projects.
At the state youth leadership conference, more than 1,000 students competed in STAR events, standing for Students Taking Action with Recognition.
The events are competitive efforts in which members are recognized for proficiency and achievement in chapter and individual projects, leadership skills and career preparation.
This year, eight Spring Lake Park FCCLA students participated in the state competitions, four girls and four boys.
Among this year’s Spring Lake Park award winners are: Gold: Tenzin Pasang, ninth-grade, essay on compassion; Raina Acker, ninth-grade, illustrated talk on adoption; Rick Osborne, Josh Anderson and Alex Pierce, sophomores, chapter service display. Twelve chapters competed in the service display category.
The boys were selected the number one team, among the top four teams receiving call-backs by judges. The SLP boys will advance to nationals.
Silver: Chue Yang, 11th-grader, illustrated talk, resiliency in teens.
In addition to SLP students’ winning awards, the meeting yielded elected officials among Henry’s students.
Raina Acker was elected FCCLA Region 4 president, while Rick Osborne was elected to a statewide position, vice president of research and development. His responsibilities will include membership, sponsorships and fundraising efforts for the state organization.
The SLP team was also one of five chapters to receive a chapter of excellence award, based on its projects throughout last year.
Among its service projects were packing food at Feed My Starving Children in Coon Rapids, assisting parents to help their children select holiday gifts at Southern Anoka Community Assistance Program and launching a Common Cents campaign against texting while driving. Funds raised were donated to the youth traffic division of AAA.
Osborne, Anderson and Pierce’s first-place project, titled Our Mission Possible, centered on service projects and charities the organization championed during the past year.
Dressed in sun glasses and “Mission Impossible” garb, the boys in their presentation, among several examples, detailed the group’s Walk for Better Health fund-raiser held January at the school during the day.
Students in their advisories (similar to homerooms) paid 25 cents to walk the hallways for a short time. For the project, FCCLA students raised about $330 and donated it to the March of Dimes and Multiple Sclerosis organizations.
The boys’ display was “neat,” Henry said. “It flowed really well.” They received a score of 97 out of 100 points, according to Henry.
Last year, as ninth-graders, the same boys advanced from state to national competition in Orlando, Fla., where they received gold medals and perfect scores in the junior high category (grades seven – nine) Star events competition with their Focus on Children presentation.
Henry’s FCCLA group has 34 members, the largest since she’s been FCCLA adviser.
“I just have a good group of students to work with,” she said. “That’s what makes it fun and rewarding.”
The national FCCLA organization was founded initially at a convention in Chicago in 1945 as Future Homemakers of America.
The organization now helps young men and women become leaders by addressing important personal, family, work and societal issues through family and consumer sciences education.
Nationally, the group has more than 205,000 members. FCCLA has nearly 6,500 chapters from 50 state associations and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, according to its website.
Elyse Kaner is at firstname.lastname@example.org