|FCCLA teams sweep 4 gold medals at National Leadership Conference|
|Written by Holyoke Enterprise|
Four Holyoke High School Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) teams garnered gold medals at the FCCLA National Leadership Conference held July 6-12 in Orlando, Fla.
A gold medal is the top score at the National Meeting and is awarded to all students scoring 90 or above out of 100 points.
Holyoke’s junior parliamentary procedure team made up of Luke Stewart, Megan Vieselmeyer, Ana Olivas, Alexandria McCallum, AJ Brandt and Tito Fierro earned a score of 95.7 and received recognition as the second-highest scoring team in the nation out of the junior, senior and occupational divisions. They received special medals from the National Association of Parliamentarians (NAP).
This is the first time that this honor has been awarded to a junior parliamentary procedure team from Holyoke.
Over 3,600 students took part in 31 various competitive STAR (Students Taking Action with Recognition) events.
Holyoke’s chapter service project manual team consisting of Molly Brandt, Jacob Vasa and Ben Martinez earned a score of 95 with their X the TXT project.
Holyoke’s chapter showcase manual team of Trevor Dalton, Logan Tharp and Erin Vieselmeyer scored 93.6 points to earn gold.
Jordan Zeiler, Matthew Wittman, Emily Bradley and Payin Becerra made up the senior parliamentary procedure and scored a 90.1 for a gold medal.
The theme for the National Meeting was “Reality Check,” inspired by the variety of social media available today from Match.com to Pinterest, and featured several original skits by national officers throughout the conference.
There were over 7000 participants at the National Leadership Meeting, which was a new record for NLC attendance. Holyoke chapter members represented the largest chapter group making up the Colorado delegation.
Holyoke FCCLA members attending the National Leadership Conference in Orlando, Fla. July 6-12 are pictured with their medals, from left, front row, Luke Stewart, Alex McCallum, Ana Olivas, Molly Brandt, Payin Becerra, Jacob Vasa, Jordan Zeiler and Emily Bradley; and back row, Trevor Dalton, Megan Vieselmeyer, Tito Fierro, AJ Brandt, Ben Martinez, Erin Vieselmeyer, Logan Tharp and Matt Wittman.
All 16 Holyoke chapter members also served as either Student STAR Event evaluators or room consultants, allowing for a chance to view and evaluate other projects.
These included: Zeiler, Megan Vieselmeyer, Fierro and Olivas in Chapter Showcase Display; Molly Brandt and Erin Vieselmeyer in Chapter Service Project Manual; Wittman, Martinez and AJ Brandt in Entrepreneurship; Vasa, Tharp and McCallum in Career Investigation; Dalton and Becerra in Job Interview; and Bradley and Stewart in Teach and Train. FCCLA adviser Karen Pieper also served as a room consultant in parliamentary procedure.
Highlights of the conference included keynote speaker John Hope Bryant, founder and CEO of Operation Hope, who emphasized how struggles make people strong and choices can change people’s circumstances.
Also enjoyed was “Live, Laugh and Lead,” a presentation by motivational speaker Heather Schultz about real-life miracles and the importance of believing in oneself, and “Being a Difference-Maker” by speaker Grant Baldwin about the power of attitude and initiative.
Members also attended workshops such as “College Survival 101,” “What is Beauty: Body Image in Modern Society,” “TXT and UR NXT: Arrive Alive!” “Food Fight” and “Movement Revolution.”
The 2012 National Outreach Project was “Share Our Strength,” which raised $307,078 across the nation this year to help in the fight against child hunger.
Holyoke FCCLA is appreciative of parent sponsors, Bob and Brenda Heldenbrand and Theresa Tharp, for their amazing contribution in making the trip such a success.
Students had the opportunity to meet other members from all over the country while visiting new sites, preparing for events and learning about different areas of FCCLA.
Member McCallum stated seeing the Arabian Nights show was “an amazing experience and one she will not soon forget.” Stewart, who competed on the parliamentary procedure team and was a room consultant for “Teach and Train,” will take away practical knowledge of parliamentary procedure and also of child development.
Chapter president Martinez enjoyed meeting new people and hanging out with other chapter members most of all. Pieper was proud to report, “Everyone represented Holyoke really well and had a great time. More than once, I received compliments from other advisers and adults helping with events about how nice and polite our students were, which is pretty awesome to hear as a new adviser!”
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 190,000 members and over 6,500 chapters from 50 state associations, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The organization has involved more than 10 million youth since its founding in 1945.
FCCLA: The Ultimate Leadership Experience is unique among youth organizations because its programs are planned and run by members. It is the only career and technical in-school student organization with the family as its central focus.
Participation in national programs and chapter activities helps members become strong leaders in their families, careers and communities.
Holyoke Enterprise July 19, 2012