Waverly Nebraska FCCLA Members recognized with success at the 2019 National Leadership Conference in Anaheim, California.
Family, Career and Community Leaders of America’s (FCCLA) largest National Leadership Conference was held in Anaheim, California June 30-July 4. More than 8,700 attendees gathered to expand leadership skills, sharpen talents, explore career pathways, and listen to inspiring speakers. Nebraska FCCLA was well represented by over 350 students, advisers, and guests. Waverly members in attendance were Kailey Clatt, RyAnna Polenske, Emma Black, and Adellin Doyen along with their advisor, Mallory Gregory.
This year’s conference theme encouraged participants to “Believe in Yourself” through competing in Competitive Events, running for office, partaking in Leadership Academy, and continuing to make a positive impact within their families, communities, and careers. Attendees also had the opportunity to engage with Red Talks, attend the Ford Driving Skills for Life event, learn about potential career and college opportunities at the EXPO, and interact with leaders from across the nation.
“It is always inspiring to watch so many young leaders come together and realize their full potential through competition, career training, and leadership workshops,” said Sandy Spavone, Executive Director of FCCLA. “This National Leadership Conference was a great success thanks to the National Board of Directors, National Staff, National Executive Council and their advisers, as well as the students, advisers, and organization’s supporters.”
In addition to the many learning and networking experiences offered at the conference, more than 30 Family and Consumer Sciences related competitive events, also known as STAR (Students Taking Action with Recognition) Events took place. These competitive events aim to support student development of knowledge and skills by enhancing the classroom experience and career pathway initiatives by equipping students with employable skills and industry insights needed to thrive in the 21st century. FCCLA members choose what STAR Event they would like to compete in at the beginning of the school year. Events vary from Early Childhood Education, Entrepreneurship, and Sports Nutrition to Fashion Design, Job Interview, and Culinary Arts. STAR Events are competitive events in which members are recognized for their proficiency and achievement in chapter and individual projects, leadership skills, and career preparation. Members who qualified for nationals had to score in the top 2 in their category at districts and then state. Of the 4,700 competitors, Nebraska had 167 participants who came home with 96 Gold medals, 60 Silver Medals, and 11 Bronze medals and brought home 56 Top Ten award winning events, including RyAnna Polenske from Waverly, as you will continue to read about below.
From Waverly, RyAnna Polenske, an incoming junior, competed in Nutrition & Wellness. She received gold and placed 5th overall nationally! This has earned her a spot in the Waverly Wall of Fame. Kailey Clatt, a recent graduate from WHS in May, competed in Fashion Construction. She received silver. In addition, she also received a free sewing machine from Bernina for qualifying in this category for nationals.
Through a national FCCLA grant in collaboration with the National Highway Safety Patrol, Emma Black and Adellin Doyen, from Waverly, led a leadership session during the conference for the IBuckle Up, We Buckle Up National FCCLA Campaign. During this session they shared their work within the community and state to impact safe driving and seat belt usage to save lives.
Madeline Wittstruck from Milford High School was one of ten national officers elected to serve on the Family, Career and Communities Leaders of America’s (FCCLA) National Executive Council at the National Leadership Conference. Madeline will be serving as FCCLA’s Vice-President of Finance throughout the 2019-2020 year.
For the first time in many years, Nebraska had two National Program Award winners. The Twin River FCCLA Chapter’s FACTS (Families Acting for Community Traffic Safety) National Program Award application was selected as 1st place in the high school division receiving a $1,000 award for their efforts of increasing seat belt in their community. The Howells-Dodge FCCLA Chapter’s STOP the Violence National Program Award application was selected as 1 st place in the high school division receiving a $1,000 award for their efforts in reducing relationship and dating violence in their school.
Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) is a dynamic and effective national student organization that helps young men and women become leaders and address important personal, family, work, and societal issues through Family and Consumer Sciences education. FCCLA has over 175,000 members and more than 5,300 chapters from 50 state associations, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
FCCLA: The Ultimate Leadership Experience is unique among youth organizations because its programs are planned and run by members, and it’s the only career and technical in-school student organization with a central focus on careers that support families. Participation in national FCCLA programs and chapter activities helps members become strong leaders in their families, careers, and communities. The Waverly Vikings are extremely proud of our 4 members who represented our community during this national conference and competition.
RyAnna Polenske & Cailey Clatt, two STAR Competitors