By Alesha Hurst Utah FCCLA VP of Public Relations
Whether you traveled by bus, plane, car, or train, once you arrived to the National Cluster Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah, all jet lag was forgotten as FCCLA members came together for an exciting conference!
Utah FCCLA was pleased to welcome members from Nebraska, Georgia, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Montana, Washington, Wyoming, and several other states at the meeting. We became fast friends with the other state associations, which you can definitely see in our social media posts. Several members of the FCCLA National Executive Council came to Utah for this monumental event. Sarah Smith, Connor Jones, Shivani Dhir, Garrhett Petrea, and Jared Gustafson made everyone feel at home by befriending members, taking countless selfies, and putting on hilarious skits to promote FCCLA@TheTable.
Attendees heard from two amazing keynote speakers—Madilyn Paige and Daniel Seddiqui. Both speakers taught us how to be confident in our abilities. Madilyn sang “Titanium,” reminding us that we are stronger than we think. Daniel taught us to be open-minded, persistent, and determined as he shared his experience of having fifty different jobs in fifty states in fifty weeks. Thanks to Madilyn and Daniel, we were inspired to become better leaders.
The main reason for gathering together, at the National Cluster Meeting, was for the opportunity for students to compete in Skill Demonstration Events. Those who participated did very well, and Utah FCCLA members claimed 23 finalist prizes. Utah FCCLA will send two teams to the FACS Knowledge Bowl at the 2015 National Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C.
Between Skill Demonstration Events and general sessions, attendees were able to delve deeper into the conference theme: “Together We Are… Ready!” by going to workshops focused on helping FCCLA members prepare for college and career. Exhibitors from multiple universities encouraged students to continue their education, and alumni members gave presentations about the benefits of staying involved in FCCLA after graduation. Youth presenters were also given the chance to offer workshops, some of which were our very own Utah FCCLA State Officers.
FCCLA members were able to take a rest from competing and learning by touring the beautiful Salt Lake City area. The most popular destination was Temple Square, home of the Salt Lake Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and some visitors were lucky enough to watch the Mormon Tabernacle Choir rehearse for their Christmas concert. For souvenirs, Utah FCCLA made a Plinko board and gave away fry sauce, Real Salt® brand sea salt (all-natural sea salt taken from an ancient sea bed located in Central Utah), honey sticks (because we’re the Beehive State), Utah Truffles, and salt water taffy.
Utah FCCLA is grateful for the opportunity we have had to host this memorable conference and show off our amazing state. We’d like to extend a big “thank you” to everyone who participated, and we hope to see you all presenting your STAR Events at our region conferences in 2015.