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Sandy Journal

Alta FCCLA students place at state, two to compete at nationals

Jun 06, 2023 09:22AM ● By Julie Slama

Three Alta High students, Emily Richards, Alix Aguilar and Serena Jefferson, sewed their own outfits for fashion construction competition at the recent state FCCLA competition. (Photo courtesy of Alta High FCCLA)

Five Alta High students captured silver and gold medals at a state competition, and two qualified for nationals in July.

In the state’s competitive events for FCCLA, or Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, Alta High junior Lizzy Carlton placed first in her contest, career investigation, and her teammate, junior Alix Aguilar, was second in fashion construction. Both will compete at nationals July 2-6 in Denver.

The pair received gold medals as did senior Serena Jefferson, also in fashion construction. Juniors Emily Richards and Brooklyn Ledesma received silver in fashion construction and entrepreneurship, respectively.

All three students who competed in fashion construction participated in the state fashion show as well.

“I’m proud of them,” Alta High FCCLA adviser Brooke Smith said. “We have a great self-motivated, hard-working group of kids this year. The fun thing about the competition events is that they do something that they’re passionate about, so they’re willing to work hard on it because it’s something they’re excited about—and they did incredibly.”

The more than 30 STAR competitive events, or Students Taking Action with Recognition events, helps prepare students for proficiency and achievement in chapter and individual projects, leadership skills and career preparation. FCCLA chapters prepares members for careers through its four career pathways: human services, hospitality and tourism, education and training, and visual arts and design.

In the STAR events, students demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and abilities to actively identify an issue concerning families, careers, or communities, research the topic, and develop and implement a project to advocate for positive change.

Carlton, who wants to be a chef, researched the education and training required to pursue a career in the field and learned about the culinary industry, said her adviser. She shared her findings in a portfolio and presentation. She also took gold at region.

Aguilar, in her first time competing in FCCLA, sewed a gown using velvet fabric, which had a unique one-sleeve design, Smith said. She received gold at region.

Jefferson, who competed in fashion construction last year, sewed her own prom dress that she wore to the dance at the Utah State Capitol. She earned gold at region.

In her first time competing, Richards sewed a jacket and skirt combination that she worked on with her grandma, Smith said. 

“It was a very technical sewing job including hand stitching the lining on the jacket,” she said, adding that she earned a silver at region. “It was amazing that we had three students who sewed complete outfits of their own planning and ideas and they each were absolutely incredible.”

Ledesma finished at the silver level at region for her business plan for a virtual interior design service. She was inspired to create it after taking an interior design course last year.

Junior Adam Christiansen took silver in the region culinary arts, where a dish was made based on provided recipes. The dish was judged on technique and the final product, Smith said.

Smith, who advises the 20-member chapter along with Danielle Summerhays and Jaden Vellinga, appreciates the opportunities FCCLA conferences provide students.

“There’s a ton of different events they can compete in—foods, sewing, interior design, child development, career opportunities—just all kinds, which is really fun. You’ll see the kids walking around with all their different projects and learn what they made and have been working on—it’s so cool,” she said. “There’s also keynote speakers and workshops and leadership opportunities.”

For students who choose not to compete, Alta’s chapter holds monthly activities, which can tie into material learned in classes.

“We’ve done a few cooking and baking activities where the students learn how to make something. We did a newspaper fashion show that was fun; students created an outfit for their partner out of newspaper and presented it to the group. We also have combined with some of the other clubs to do activities this year. This year, we’ve combined with DECA and HOSA and hosted them in the foods lab and made a Thanksgiving treat together. They invited us to a gingerbread house activity in December,” Smith said.

FCCLA also hosted the school’s Sweethearts dance, which proceeds from ticket sales support chapter activities and help fund students competing in nationals.

“One of the huge focuses is of FCCLA is leadership. It’s a student-led organization. We have a president and a couple officers, so they take initiative and lead our chapter activities,” Smith said. “There’s also a focus on service and other kind of community service events.”

Through the years, Alta’s chapter has tied blankets to donate to bringing in meals to those who need a hand up. λ