Millbrook Students Take Part in Leadership Training at FCCLA National Leadership Conference July 2–6
By Caecilia Wyman
More than 7,500 Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) members, advisers, alumni and guests from across the country gathered in Nashville, TN, for the 2017 National Leadership Conference. The conference was based on the theme, “Unlimited Possibilities,” which inspires attendees to explore career opportunities, develop leadership skills and grow personally while making a difference in their families, schools, FCCLA and communities. This year, the Millbrook Central School District had eight students take part in the leadership conference where they networked with likeminded students from across the country, attended workshops and volunteered as evaluators during events.
At the conference, Millbrook students competed in four different events and earned their first ever gold medals. Alice Pandaleon, who attended her second National Leadership Conference, received gold for the Entrepreneurship category. She designed a business plan for a healthy food truck that she named “Fresh on Wheels” where she would offer healthy breakfast and lunch options at local college campuses stating that, “According to my research, college students eat too much fast food. I wanted to redirect that spending towards healthier options.” About the conference experience, Alice stated, “Being in FCCLA opens up a whole new world of opportunities. We can build our leadership skills, meet new people, and we learn new things about ourselves. Being in FCCLA has truly provided us with unlimited possibilities.”
Abigail DeMan competed in Life Event Planning and also received a gold medal for planning a trip to Dublin, Ireland. It was her third National Leadership Conference. Eliakim Stowe, a first-time attendee, chose Career Investigation as his project and earned a silver medal for shadowing Dr. Brian Pecchia from MOST physical therapy in Millbrook.
The Millbrook High School Culinary Team with Jessica Rugar, Victoria Bonadonna and Steven Bryant placed 10th in the nation (even against vocational centers like BOCES) and received a silver medal. When asked about his experience with FCCLA, Steven commented, “You can truly discover who you are with FCCLA.” Jessica Rugar added that, “FCCLA has given us the opportunity to improve our interpersonal skills, teamwork and cooperation. It has also allowed us to compete nationally against very talented people our own age.” Isaiah Edmonds and James Moore also attended the conference and were avidly involved behind the scenes of the conference. They helped evaluate students during their events and ensured a smooth transition from one presenter to the next. The FCCLA advisor for Millbrook, Ryan Judge, summed it all up by saying, “At the conference, students are enriched with the opportunity to apply their academic knowledge, gain and practice their leadership skills, grow personally and gain recognition.” With that experience, Millbrook students look forward to spreading the word of FCCLA in years to come.
And FCCLA is not just a small phenomenon in Millbrook. The organization has more than 164,000 members and more than 5,300 chapters from 49 state associations, in addition to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. It is a unique youth organization 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.
For more information on FCCLA, please contact Caecilia Wyman at firstname.lastname@example.org.