Youth from the East Central chapter of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America recently attended a weekend leadership conference in Charlotte, N.C., reports adviser Brenda Osman.
Members participated in trainings and sessions that challenged, informed and motivated them to become leaders through FCCLA. Along with more than 1,700 other attendees, East Central’s FCCLA chapter advisers, Osman and Ashley McConnell, and parent chaperones, Lori Kuebel, Debbie Gutapfel, Ella Bulach, Donna Lake, Lisa Newhouse and Kathy Polito, accompanied 40 members to the meeting.
The theme of this year’s conference was “Exceeding Expectations,” and attendees were challenged to go beyond what is expected of them to make lasting, positive impressions in their families, schools and communities.
The opening general session was an inspiring keynote address from Johan Khalilian, who was able to move past the obstacles and traps that ensnared so many of his peers and live a life that was far from ordinary. His dreams, choices and determination took him from a ghetto kid to a national speaker. He uses his life story to help people of all ages believe in the power of their dreams and understand the impact their lives can make in the world around them.
Skill demonstration events were held, featuring students participating in a wide variety of competitive activities. Events included several oratory and FCCLA-specific knowledge competitions, demonstrations of college and career-ready skills in family and consumer sciences and exhibitions of culinary food art and knife skills.
In culinary chicken fabrication, Cody Tallon placed third; Kirsten Abner, second; and Brad Callahan, first. For the toys that teach junior division, Alexis Banker was first, and in the senior division, Elizabeth Mortimer was second. In the Speak out for FCCLA junior division, Shelby Lake placed first, and Katelynn Osman received fourth place. In the occupational division of Speak out for FCCLA, Sarah Lehman was first.
The FACS Knowledge Bowl team of Ericka Burchfield, Laura Kuebel, Samantha Sizemore, Elizabeth Hamersly and Anya Polito placed first and will move on to the final round of competition at the National FCCLA Conference in San Antonio in July.
EC FCCLA officers, Lauren Deddens, Sarah Lehman and Laura Kuebel, also had the opportunity to present their youth session, “Cyber Bullying: That’s Not Cool,” to over 300 FCCLA members from across the country. Their session taught members techniques to bring awareness to the challenges of cyber bullying in today’s society.
Hamersly said, “This was one of the best conferences I have ever attended. I enjoyed spending time at the Biltmore Mansion, as well as the motivational speakers.”
Lehman remarked, “This conference was exciting and has inspired me to go back and do even more community service work with our chapter.”