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Sandy Journal

Two Jordan High students advance to nationals in FCCLA, five medal at state competition

Jun 06, 2023 09:27AM ● By Julie Slama

When it comes to FCCLA competitions, Jordan High adviser Mary Lynn has goals.

“We always want them to be the best we always want them to be, but ultimately, it’s a learning experience,” she said. “We want them to go outside of their every day and give them an experience where they can be an expert in their projects and be proud of something they pick and do.”

Lynn was “very proud” of her FCCLA, or Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, chapter students who competed this year—seven placed at region, five competed at state and two qualified for nationals—which will be held June 2-6 in Denver.

In the STAR competitive events, or Students Taking Action with Recognition 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.

There are more than 30 STAR events, which help prepare FCCLA students for careers in human services, hospitality and tourism, education and training, and visual arts and design. 

At state, senior Avery Williams placed first and qualified for nationals in the repurpose and redesign category. For her competitions, Williams used her recycling and redesign skills to create a used fashion, home, or other post-consumer item to repurpose into a new product. At the competitions, she sets up her display and presents the project to evaluators. Williams also was awarded the Chapter Officer of the Year for the state.

Senior Mackenzie West qualified for nationals and took second at state in “Say Yes to FCS (family consumer science).” She prepared a portfolio, conducted classroom observations, planned and executed a lesson, developed an integration plan, and delivered an oral presentation to show her knowledge in investigating entering a career as a family and consumer sciences educator. At the state awards ceremony, West, who has been a Utah state officer the past two years, pledged to becoming a FACS educator.

Other state winners include junior Riley Nickel, fashion construction, silver; junior Shantel Dominguez, career investigation, silver; and senior Ximena Rimeraz, foods assessment, bronze.

At region, Williams, Nickel and Dominguez earned gold while West took silver. Bronze medal finishers include senior Alex Gonzalez, fashion design; sophomore Payten Romero, food innovations; and sophomore Boston Brecke in the “Focus on Children” contest.

“It’s scary to get up in front of people who are there to judge your project,” Lynn said. “I don’t know that I could have done that in high school.”

Lynn, who has been the chapter adviser for nine years, joined FCCLA in high school, but doesn’t recall being that involved nor her chapter being active in those days.

“I studied interior design after high school and even though I knew I wanted to be a teacher, I didn’t know what route I had to take. So, it’s made me, as an adviser, make sure to reach out to kids, especially those who may need more encouragement to help them, as I would have loved that and would have liked some of these FCCLA opportunities,” she said.

The 25 members in Jordan’s chapter extend their commitment outside of competition as well.

“We got fleece and made blankets. When I asked the kids where they wanted to donate them, they said, ‘We know there are kids who probably can use them here at Jordan. We can donate them to our Helping Hand closet here so our community can benefit from them.’ It just makes me cry; I love these kids,” she said.

The students also have made a commitment this year to welcome others.

“The biggest goal is giving kids a place where anyone can be included. Maybe they don’t have a place or they want to make a friend, or have a place where they can bring a friend,” said Lynn, who added that not every student enrolls in Family Consumer Science classes are involved in the chapter.

During the year, the students engaged in fun activities, such as making haunted gingerbread houses or having lunch together. They also participated in the Digger Fair, an event where they meet new classmates and invite them to join the chapter as well as fundraise for activities during the year.

The chapter participated in the statewide FCCLA fundraiser where they have sold socks and the money raised helps to fund prosthetic legs for kids who live in countries where they may not have that access to them, she said.

“The money goes toward paying for those and then kids can get back to school and live their life, which is wonderful when it’s kids helping other kids,” she said. “Some of the proceeds also are donated to put wells for water in those countries too.

Earlier in the year, student officers attended a leadership conference, where they set goals, learned leadership skills and were inspired by retired Olympian skeleton racer, Noelle Pikus-Pace.

“She got the kids really excited that we can make big differences with their goals,” Lynn said. “It set the mood for our year. This year, I have five seniors graduating involved who have been part of the chapter since freshman year; I’ve seen them grow into being confident seniors and leaders. We’ll recognize them at a lunch and let them know how special they are and how we’ll miss them.” λ