The Hawkeye

FCCLA club returns to MTHS

By Theresa Van, Hawkeye Staff

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Lin Miyamoto
Freshman Sophie Valenti listens to a lecture on completing an online career quest. FCCLA aims to help students gain valuable career skills.

The Family, Career, Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) is an organization for young men and women from sixth grade all the way up to twelfth grade.  And now this club returns to MTHS for students who are interested in joining.

The FCCLA is a student-run club that focuses on building community and encouraging student leadership and bettering students’ futures by teaching leadership, career, family and other skills. Molly McFadden, the chef teacher, is the advisor for the club in room 121 on Tuesdays starting at 2:00 p.m., which is the same time as Key Club meetings so McFadden knows who’s truly committed and who isn’t.

The FCCLA was started in 1945 in Chicago as the Future Homemakers of America to help prepare young men and women for the future and teach them how to contribute to modern society. In 1999, the name was changed to the FCCLA. Their mission, according to the FCCLA website, is to “promote personal growth and leadership development through Family and Consumer Sciences education.” Basically, FCCLA’s goal is to inform people more about consumer science education and its importance to us by showing the focuses of Family and Consumer Sciences education through involvement.

“Focusing on the multiple roles of family member, wage earner and community leader, members develop skills for life through character development, creative and critical thinking, interpersonal communication, practical knowledge and career preparation,” the FCCLA mission statement continues.

They get to make an impact on the community and on their families. It’s really inspiring seeing students make such a big impact.”

— Molly McFadden

The FCCLA is the only national in-school student organization that has a main focus on family education.

Although FCCLA was founded in 1945, at MTHS, it was started in 2002 by McFadden. Then, when she moved to Lynnwood High School in 2014 to teach over there, the club was handed over to teachers who taught chef classes after McFadden left, like Jessie Walten, who left in 2015. After Walten’s departure, the club disbanded in the face of dwindling attendance.

McFadden returned to MTHS replacing Walten in 2015. Now that she’s back from family leave to raise her children, McFadden says she loved restarting FCCLA from scratch, though she says it’s difficult  because she doesn’t have any past students who she can count on to help run the club as leaders. Instead, she hopes to find new students who still step up and lead the way.

“In our meetings, we have a parliamentary procedure we follow and we learn that as we go along,” McFadden said. “Parliamentary (or Robert’s Rule of Order) is the format followed to run a professional business meeting. In the club they use this each time we meet together, so using it at the local level helps them be familiar and comfortable when we gather at our meetings.”

Parliamentary procedure, McFadden explained, consists of various items on an agenda, starting with a formal opening ceremony and roll call (complete with a recital of the FCCLA creed and the pledge of allegiance) and ending with a formal adjournment. In between, the club members receive reports from the secretary and the treasurer, follow-up on and discuss old business, and discuss new business – in that order. The minutes for the whole meeting are consistently recorded by a secretary.

By conducting meetings this way, McFadden said, “members are able to voice their opinions and they take formal votes to make decisions making sure everyone has a ‘voice’ whether you are in leadership or just on a committee or regular/occasional member/attendee.”

FCCLA isn’t just about leadership or building communities. It’s also a way to help students grow and prepare themselves for the future. If one wants to get a job but doesn’t know how, joining FCCLA lets them learn how to apply for a job by writing a proper cover letter and resume in addition to how to be prepared for a job interview and other basic skills needed to find a job.

If someone needs help with choosing a career path, FCCLA takes whatever projects are done in class and builds upon them to help one pursue a goal they’re passionate about. For instance, if a student is passionate about the career and technical field, then Club members get many chances to do a career investigation. This career investigation helps one determine what they should do later in life.

Leadership is about leading others to achieve a common goal, showing a good example for other people and stepping up when no one else around will. By joining FCCLA, one can learn many life skills as a person and as a community leader.

“It’s dynamic, it’s fun. They get a chance to pursue what they are passionate about,” McFadden said. She hopes lots of students will join the club and know that it’s a fantastic organization to join especially for their future.

“They get to make an impact on the community and on their families,” she said. “It’s really inspiring seeing students make such a big impact.”

FCCLA also partakes in community-building service projects, such as food drives, blood drives, or anything that tends to the general public.

When someone first joins FCCLA, they must first have an ASB card. Then, they can apply for one of two memberships. One membership is the local membership, for which you have to pay $15. Local members of FCCLA  participate in small community service projects that tend to the need of the general public, such as food donations and blood drives. And all this money goes to the school to help run the club since it’s not easy to start a club from scratch with hardly any resources or help whatsoever.

Then there’s the red level membership. The red level membership costs $25 but allows members to participate more. While with the local membership one can participate in small projects, with the red level membership one can participate in projects ranging from community-level to state-wide.

People seeking to join FCCLA would also need to have enrolled in or completed one of the family and consumer sciences education (FACSE) classes taught by McFadden or Kimberly Nelson. These classes include AP Psychology, Personal finance and chef. FCCLA is designed to complement the family and consumer sciences education curriculum by providing students an opportunity to apply their learning in the real world.

Club members also get to participate in competitions at the regional, state and national level. This year, the national competition is in Anaheim, Calif. These competitions aren’t about winning, but more about finding ways to follow what the FCCLA stands for and to make the world a better place

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About the Writer
Theresa Van, Staff Reporter
Theresa Van is a passionate freshman who is very much into writing of any sort, which was why she joined Hawkeye in the first place. Her favorite kind of writing is story writing, and she hopes to entrigue her audiences with her creative and long writing style.
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FCCLA club returns to MTHS