Members of the Effingham County High School chapter of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) recently participated in a weekend leadership conference March 14-16 at the Classic Center in Athens. Attendees, in addition to a weekend of competitions, participated in a Career and Trade Expo, University of Georgia tours, educational demonstrations, and sessions that motivated and informed members and their advisers with the theme “Saving the World … One Leader at a Time.”
Along with other advisers and members from across the state, Effingham County High’s FCCLA chapter adviser, Bonnie Pritcher, accompanied eight members to the meeting. Members attending were Hannah Flewallen, who competed in advocacy; Phoenix Truitt, who competed in illustrated talk; Joanne Sincavage and Andrew Thompson, who competed in life event planning; Kalonna Brown, James McDonald and Drashti Patel, who competed in food innovations; and Chancey Pritcher, who served as a runner for the conference.
The weekend was action packed. The “Saving the World … One Leader at a Time” theme was reinforced by Thursday’s opening general session, where meeting attendees experienced a presentation and geared up for a variety of leadership training opportunities offered throughout the weekend. The nationally-known keynote speaker, Aric Bostick, challenged members and advisers to become the “hero on duty!”
Regional meetings were held immediately after the opening session. Speeches were featured by candidates for state office and chapters were recognized for their participation in state and local events. Friday began with a judge’s breakfast and orientation. STAR (Students Taking Action with Recognition) events competitions were scheduled from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. with 25 areas showcasing the proficiency and achievements of members. On Friday evening, after chapter recognition and the business session, the “City of Lights” -themed gala was held.
Saturday, awaiting the announcement of the competition winners, began with the adviser’s breakfast. Student participants began the day in the closing and STAR events recognition. ECHS’ team earned two bronze medals, in advocacy and illustrated talk, one gold, in life event planning, and one gold which advances to nationals, in Food Innovations. The adviser and student winners will attend the National Leadership Conference in Nashville, Tenn., in July.
Following the recommendation of the keynote speaker, ECHS FCCLA members returned to school and participated in “a hero’s welcome” of the student body onto campus. The FCCLA members wore their conference polos, greeted fellow students at the front doors of the school, welcomed them, and gave each a colorful paper with one of selection of Anne Frank quotes.
Quotes used in this Hero’s Welcome were:
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
“Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.”
“No one has ever become poor by giving.”
“In the long run, the sharpest weapon of all is a kind and gentle spirit.”
“In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”