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The student news site of Utica High School


The student news site of Utica High School



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New Club Shapes Future Leaders

Students travel to Western Michigan University for the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America fall conference
Lacie Smith
Members of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America club, along with Buster Bronco, attended the fall conference at Western Michigan University.

With a new chapter of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America officially created, the first order of business for the new club was to attend the fall conference at Western

Michigan University. Students that attended the conference learned numerous skills, which
focused on leadership.

“The purpose was to come together as an association and learn about how to be a leader,”
FCCLA social media manager Anya Alband said, “and to learn a little bit about the mission of FCCLA
and why we are in it.”

Members attended various workshops that addressed the history of FCCLA, professional presentations, and how to become a state officer.

“Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect because I didn’t know much about the conference before we
went,” senior Ashlin Hurry said. “But I appreciated how interactive the chapter officers were, and my favorite part was how welcoming the national officers were… and getting Chick-Fil-A for dinner.”

Upon arrival, students were met by Buster Bronco, and soon participated in an ice breaker scavenger hunt, where they had to snap a selfie with a state representative of their organization.

“It was better than expected, because I thought we’d just go to business meetings and presentations,” senior Gabrielle Holmes said. “I enjoyed socializing with the other schools; it was lots of fun. I loved interacting with everyone; It wasn’t just boring presentations and we got to play Jeopardy.”

Sophomore Claire Davis was also pleasantly surprised.

“It was a lot better than I expected,” Davis said. “It was a great experience and felt nice meeting new people.”

Because the spring conference includes competitions, there was also a workshop explaining what types of things members should complete and practice.

“I am going again in the spring so I can have as much fun as I did at the fall conference,” Holmes said. “I’m excited because I have a position now and I’ll get a cord for graduation.”

Hurry is also motivated by the upcoming competitions.

“I’ll be attending the spring conference because I’m president of our school’s FCCLA members,” Hurry said. “I’m excited to organize and prepare the members to have fun at the spring conference.”

Members are excited for new opportunities.

“My motivation,” Davis said, “is the experience I’ll get out of it.”

The fall conference had various highlights for each student.

“I loved when we had to make up a dance,” Davis said. “During one of our conferences we had to do a dance competition and that was really fun.”

Alband also enjoyed her time at the conference.

“It was fun being able to stay independent, but also collaborate with other chapters around the state,” Alband said. “During lunch, we had lunch cards and access to many different stations and could eat what we wanted.”

While the FCCLA conference was fun this year, that is not the sole purpose. Throughout the conference students learned an abundance of useful information. They were introduced to things such as taking initiative and teamwork.

“While we aren’t quite sure the order of things, or how exactly we will do what we need to, we are expecting to present our posters and speeches to other MIFCCLA chapters and potentially other people,”
Alband said. “We are so excited.”

The process of becoming a state officer was also introduced. If you become a state officer, you could eventually be a national officer. The national officers are the official ambassadors of FCCLA. They serve as role model’s and advocates for the goals of FCCLA.

“I think their goal is to give back to the community,” Davis said. “They want to do what’s right.”

Principal Tim Youngblood said FCCLA is a welcome addition to the school.

“Any time you’re part of a group and doing things beyond schoolwork that enhances the experience, it is beneficial,” Youngblood said. “There’s also the graduation cord which gives students a common goal.”

Youngblood agrees that leadership is an important part in any role at the school, and encourages students to join the new club.

“I might join it for a leadership class if I had the chance,” Youngblood said. “That’s what
being a principal is all about, leadership.”

Students interested in joining FCCLA should contact teacher Lacie Smith.

“Our chapter is just starting off, so we are taking it slowly to bring in more and more
activitie,” Alband said. “Right now we are hard at work creating our presentations for the
spring conference and following through with our “ACT” portion of the presentation, where
we do something to help inform, or help change our topic.”

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About the Contributor
Zoey Desmond
Zoey Desmond, Reporter
Zoey is a sophomore who enjoys playing with her dog and spending time with her friends. Usually, she spends time outside or watching movies with her friends. She also enjoys playing video games and listening to music. Her favorite video game is "The Last of Us" and her favorite music artists are Childish Gambino, TV Girl, Phoebe Bridgers, and more. Besides all of this, she also has a passion for writing. Ever since Zoey was young she has loved to write, and she continues to spend lots of her free time working on stories.

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