Warrior Run students compete in national leadership conference

Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) brought more than 7,700 of its student leaders, members and advisers to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., in July to participate in its National Leadership Conference.

The conference provided opportunities for students and advisers to come together and listen to inspiring speakers, as well as expand leadership skills, sharpen talents and explore career pathways.

The theme of this year’s conference was “Together We Are Healthy” and attendees were challenged to explore the fitness of body, mind and spirit that is a product of healthy attitudes and habits; and to pursue this whole health through the conference’s great learning and networking opportunities.

“We were delighted to gather great speakers, leadership development initiatives and the energy of the thousands of students who came to our nation’s capital for this conference, but realize the best part is that these students will take the skills and knowledge they have learned and the relationships they have developed here, and apply them to help make a positive difference in their own schools and communities when they return home,” said Sandy Spavone, executive director of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America.

In addition to the many learning and networking experiences offered at the conference, more than 30 family and consumer sciences related events, also known as STAR (Students Taking Action with Recognition) events were offered, providing competitions in such areas as culinary arts, knowledge bowl, career investigation and fashion construction for more than 4,000 event participants.

Warrior Run High School graduating senior, Emily Staman competed in the event “Recycle, Redesign” earning a silver medal.

Recycle and Redesign is an individual event that recognizes participants who apply recycling and redesign skills learned in family and consumer sciences courses and create a display using a sample of their skills. Students select a used fashion, home or other post-consumer item to recycle into a new product. Staman’s product was a purse made from discarded blue jeans.

Katelyn Bieber, a freshman at Warrior Run High School, competed in the event “Focus on Children” also earning a silver medal. This event, recognizes participants who use family and consumer sciences skills to plan and conduct a child development project that has a positive impact on children and the community.

Bieber helped children at a local daycare learn about healthy eating. They planted and maintained a garden.

The children, with the help of older adults from a local senior citizens center, prepared meals from the garden’s produce.

A highlight of the conference was a youth rally held on Capitol Hill for the dual purpose of celebrating the organization’s 70th anniversary and advocating for strong Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) education in schools. Themed, “70 Years Strong,” the event drew more than 3,000 FCCLA members and bathed the Capitol grounds in a sea of FCCLA red. After the rally, members moved into the Capitol to meet personally with their Congressional representatives to share their stories of how FACS education has impacted them.

For more information about FCCLA, its programs, conferences and members, contact Chris Flynn at cflynn@ fcclainc.org.