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A Head-Start on Pursuing My Dreams

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

By Merralee Young, student at Sky View High School

Merralee Young photo 2“When I was in fifth grade, I had the most amazing teacher. She taught us how to be respectful and responsible. Through her teaching style, she treated all of her students equally and made us all feel like we were important and had something to share with the world around us. Elementary school is such a critical time. All of the kids need someone to teach them to love school, and to teach them how to be a respectable member of society. Ever since fifth grade, I have had a desire to have that same kind of influence on other kids that my fifth grade teacher had on me.

“I’m Merralee Young. In the winter of 2015 I completed a CTE Internship at Sunrise Elementary School in the field of elementary education. I got to work with Mrs. Hellstern in her afternoon kindergarten class. I’m pursuing a career in elementary education and this internship has really helped me get out of my comfort zone and really get to see what elementary education has in store [for me]. It was a great experience to spend so much time with such a great teacher. Kindergarten can be a hard age, but Mrs. Hellstern is very good at what she does. I think she understands what level of cognition the students are at and knows just when and where to push her students to do their best. For example, Mrs. Hellstern’s class has their own mission statement, separate from the schools. One of the key words in this mission statement is “synergize.” She was teaching her kindergarten class how to work together, or synergize, by reading them a story and giving each student a partner to work on an assignment together. It was something none of the students had much experience with, but they responded very well.

“I feel fortunate to have been able to work one-on-one with the students, and observe what it takes to be a teacher. I had the chance to do things like organize files, do crafts with the students, and read stories to the class. When I was responsible for a group of students, it felt a little out of place to take charge because I don’t get to play the teacher role in my life very often. I found that it’s harder than it looks to be in charge of 25 children, but that it’s something I’m very capable of doing. My favorite part of this experience is how rewarding it is. I love interacting with the kids, and hearing their funny stories. It’s also pretty neat to see how the students learn and progress, even in just a few short months. I have definitely learned some amazing things that will give me a head-start on my career in elementary education.”

Merralee Young photo 1


Strengthening Families One Meal at a Time!

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

By Alesha Hurst, Utah FCCLA VP of Public Relations

FCCLA@TheTableFood. Everyone needs it. But when was the last time you sat down for a meal at the dinner table as a family? Chances are it wasn’t recently. FCCLA is aware of this growing problem, and we’re taking measures to stop it from becoming worse.

FCCLA@TheTable is a new program that national FCCLA council members have started in an attempt to strengthen family relationships. FCCLA members pledge that they will share meals with their families, and as a result, they will be able to bond with their family members over dinner. The only requirement is that they have to take a picture of the meal as proof of completion and post it on Instagram with #FCCLA@TheTable.

The reasoning behind this initiative is simple: strong families make strong leaders. Studies have shown that regular family meals promote healthy eating habits and create a bond between parents and their children. Also, eating dinner together improves academic performance in school. Did you know, 52 percent of children earn mostly A’s and B’s when their families eat dinner together at least twice a week? The benefits greatly outweigh the costs, and FCCLA believes that FCCLA@TheTable will help these statistics apply to more of its members.

This project has received a lot of support from members, and many have already taken the pledge! The national goal is for 70,000 members to pledge meals with their families, and Utah FCCLA hopes to contribute 3,500 of them!

We understand that it is hard for families to find time in their busy schedules to meet together for dinner, but we encourage everyone to make an effort. To avoid awkward silent meals, we have come up with a list of conversation starters.

> If you could take a trip or vacation to any destination where would you go?
> How would you describe a perfect day?
> If you could go back to any moment in your life and re-live or re-do it, what moment would it be?
> If someone made a movie of your life, who would play the starring role and why?
> What made you feel mad, sad, and glad today?
> What do you want to be when you grow up?
> What is the funniest/weirdest dream you have ever had?
> If you could trade places with your parents for a day, what would you do differently?
> If you could turn invisible, where would you go and what would you do?
> If you could change anything in the world, what would you change and how?
> If you could wake up tomorrow with a superpower, what superpower would you want to have?
> If you could master a new skill tonight, what would it be?
What was the best gift you’ve ever received? The best one you’ve ever given?
> If salary wasn’t important and talent wasn’t necessary, what would be your dream job and why?
> If you could teleport anywhere in the universe right now, where would you go?

 Help Utah FCCLA bring families closer together by taking the FCCLA@TheTable Pledge!

Bringing Awareness to FCCLA

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Last week, FCCLA chapters across Utah celebrated National FCCLA Week. Read what several chapters did to celebrate.

Orem High School 2Orem High School FCCLA Chapter
“We’ve had a lot of fun this week celebrating and recognizing FCCLA Week at our school. We have been gathering students around one of the TV’s in the commons area to play Kahoot during lunch. We made one for every day and have awarded prizes to those who participate. Each day it teaches a little [something] about one of our FACS classes—interior design, foods, child development, FCCLA, and clothing. It’s so fun and everyone that plays loves it, said Sandy Kezerian, FCCLA Adviser, Orem High School.”

Maple Mountain High SchoolMaple Mountain High School and Payson High School FCCLA Chapters
The FCCLA chapters of Maple Mountain High School and Payson High School joined together to celebrate National FCCLA Week.

Westlake High School FCCLA Chapter
Monday – To kick off the week chapter members handed out Smarties® candies to the student body with a message letting them know that more than half of teens killed in car accidents were not wearing a seatbelt. So, they are “smart” to buckle up and not text while driving.

Tuesday – For “Taffy Tuesday” chapter officers gave red and white taffy to members with the message: “FCCLA is the ultimate leadership experience, focusing on character development, creative and critical thinking, interpersonal communications, practical knowledge, and career preparation. Thank you for being a member.”

Wednesday – For “Waffle Wednesday” members, who wore their chapter shirt, were treated to a waffle during lunch.

Westlake High School - Hide the logo contestThursday – For “Thirsty Thursday” red drinks were available for members with the message: “FCCLA is the only student run organization with family as its focus. FCCLA helps you grow as a leader because of the many service and leadership opportunities. Thank you for supporting FCCLA.”

Friday – FCCLA chapter members asked the student body to wear red. Chapter officers visited classrooms and handed out candy to those students wearing red.

During the week members hid the FCCLA logo throughout the school building and gave out free cinnamon roll coupons to those who found it. “It has been a great week bringing awareness to FCCLA, said Candace Wilson, FCCLA Adviser, Westlake High School. Check out our Facebook page Westlake High School FCCLA-Utah.

FCCLA Week is February 8-14, 2015

Monday, February 9th, 2015

FCCLA%20Week%20Profile%20PictureFamily, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) will join more than 200,000 members in celebrating National FCCLA Week February 8-14, 2015. This year’s theme is “Together We Are United!” in recognition of the many things FCCLA students and advisers represent—both as individuals and as members of their chapters, state associations and the national FCCLA organization—in their families, schools and communities. During National FCCLA Week, members plan and carry out activities to address teen and societal concerns and show how Family and Consumer Sciences education can help them achieve the Ultimate Leadership Experience.

Monday, February 9
Media Blitz – Together We Are Making Headlines!
Hit up social networks and spread the word about what your chapter is up to! Take FCCLA out into the community by approaching local businesses about advocating for FCCLA! Get your whole school involved by advertising what your chapter is doing for FCCLA week!

Tuesday, February 10
Partner Advocacy – Together We Are at the Table!
Share Our Strength. Chapter members are encouraged to budget and prepare a meal for their family. Then as a family, contribute the same amount of money spent on that meal to SOS to enable others to have a healthy meal.

Wednesday, February 11
RED out for FCCLA – Together We Are United!
Wear RED! Showcase friendships made through FCCLA with posters/photos around school as well as in social media; submit photos of as many people wearing red in group shots to demonstrate how FCCLA is “united”.

Thursday, February 12
The Ultimate Throw Back Thursday – Together We Are Making History!
Chapters are encouraged to inundate social media with photos of members and chapter photos from as far back in FCCLA’s 70 year history as possible, all with the hashtag, “ #TUTBT”.

Friday, February 13
Member Recognition – Together We Are FCCLA!
Send thank you notes from advisers and chapter officers to FCCLA members. Recognize chapter members on social media. Set up an “FCCLA members only” photo booth during lunch with props to commemorate FCCLA Week.

National FCCLA Week and CTE Month is a great time to get excited for all that’s to come and all that’s involved with the Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America!

It’s never too late to get involved with FCCLA! If you’re not a member of FCCLA, and would like to become a member, talk to your school counselor to get connected with the FCCLA adviser in your school.

FCCLA photo 1

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 200,000 members and over 5,500 chapters from 49 state associations, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The organization has involved more than ten million youth since its founding in 1945.

Alexa Hyde: Future Elementary Education Teacher

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

Alexa Hyde - in front of school

Alexa Hyde, a student at Sky View High School, recently participated in a CTE Internship at Sunrise Elementary School. During her internship she worked with elementary students while being mentored by elementary education teacher Helen Hellstern. “I enjoyed working with Ms. Hellstern because she is an amazing teacher and has been so helpful in giving me ideas for when I have my own classroom. She put me in charge of responsibilities ranging from the simple task of writing the students names on assessments to teaching my own station,” says Alexa.

Alexa learned a lot from participating in a CTE Internship. The internship provided a real world experience to assist her in making a career decision. “Because of this experience I know for sure that I want to pursue [a career] in elementary education. I have absolutely loved my involvement with the students and have learned so much from them. Every child is so different and unique in their own way, and I have learned how to adjust to meet the need of every child. I’m excited to graduate and head to college where I will be able to take classes that will get me closer to my dream job. I am so thankful for the great experience I have had through the Work-Based Learning program.”



Wesley Carter: Utah FCCLA VP of Development

Monday, January 12th, 2015

Wesley Carter 2Hello Everyone! My name is Wesley Carter and I am the Utah FCCLA Vice President of Development. I am a senior at Pleasant Grove High School and have been a member of FCCLA for two years.

I decided to run for state office only one month after becoming a member and it has been the best decision of my life. Being a state officer has shaped me into the person I am today. I can’t wait to spend another year on the FCCLA state executive committee.

Last year, I participated in the FCCLA STAR Events Focus on Children competition, where my team took gold at the regional competition, gold at the state competition, and bronze at the national competition.

This past year, I competed in the FCCLA STAR Events Applied Math for Culinary Management competition, where I took gold at the regional competition and gold at the state competition. As a result I qualified for my second FCCLA National Leadership Conference!

This year I decided to venture out and try the competitive events of another Career and Technical Student Organization, so I joined FFA and competed in the Food Science Career Development Event. After countless hours of dedication I placed first in the state competition! In addition, my team qualified for nationals, which was a huge accomplishment for me. But no worries, FCCLA will always come first in my life.

Next year, I plan to study at Utah State University and major in Family and Consumer Science Education. My dream is to be a high school Foods/ ProStart teacher and FCCLA Advisor. FCCLA has changed my life. I have become a new person and met so many new friends. I am very grateful for the opportunities I have been given through FCCLA and will never forget it. FCCLA really is The Ultimate Leadership Experience.

Utah FCCLA Hosts National Cluster Meeting

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

By Alesha Hurst Utah FCCLA VP of Public Relations

8117073_origWhether 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.

B3FG23cCYAEkXEzBetween 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.


Monday, December 1st, 2014

First Page Utah FCCLA At&TFCCLA: Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. FCCLA provides students with opportunities to attain knowledge, skills, and leadership characteristics necessary to succeed in life and careers through Family and Consumer Sciences Education. Since 1945, FCCLA members have been making a difference in their families, careers, and communities by addressing important personal, work and societal issues. Involvement in FCCLA offers members the opportunity to expand their leadership potential and develop the skills for life-planning goal setting, problem solving, decision making, and interpersonal communication necessary in the home and workplace.

There are 3,077 Utah FCCLA members in 112 chapters across the state. Throughout the year, FCCLA members strive to find service opportunities within their school and community. As members work together they become aware of themselves, their responsibilities as citizens, and their roles as future community leaders.

“I am proud to be a member of a great organization dedicated to society’s most basic unit – the family. I have learned so much though this organization, and am continuing to gather skills for my college and adult future,” says Caitlin Stock, Utah FCCLA Vice-President of Competitive Events and Programs.

FCCLA: The Ultimate Leadership Experience

FCCLA photo 1

Utah Students Visit NYC Fashion Industry

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Last month, Family and Consumer Sciences Education students from Nebo School District traveled to New York City to meet with designers in the Fashion Industry and tour several fashion facilities. photo 1dTraveling as a school group to NYC not only took an inordinate amount of planning, and preparation, but also took special permission from the Nebo School District school board. Teachers presented their travel plan to the school board and detailed how the experience could not be replicated in Utah. So, with the approval of the school board, teachers and students spent two years planning, preparing, and saving for the trip.

After boarding a plane in Salt Lake City the group consisting of 6 teachers and 48 students, from Maple Mountain High School, Salem Hills High School, Payson High School, Spanish Fork High School, and Springville High School, flew to New York City. Upon their arrival to the “Big Apple” the experience of a lifetime began. From touring New Amsterdam Theatre to viewing the awe inspiring interior of Radio City Music Hall to learning about career opportunities in the Fashion Industry students were amazed at the many different cultural experiences in NYC.

Below is a recap of their trip as described by Whitney Carter, Family and Consumer Sciences teacher at Spanish Fork High School.

photo 4bNew Amsterdam Theatre: This tour was one of the students’ favorites. They were able to see a Broadway stage without performers or decor while learning about the history of a Broadway theatre. They learned how the Theatre owner struggled and later succeeded through his business journey. Afterwards, we were able to go backstage and see costumes that have been used on Broadway shows, such as The Lion King, Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Tarzan, and Mary Poppins. The students were able to examine, touch, and even try on the costumes and props.

Radio City Music Hall: An historic building in New York City, Radio City Music Hall hosts many modern day and historic events. The interior design in Radio City Music Hall was phenomenal to see. This tour helped the students understand the detail that goes into design and how each aspect of a design serves a purpose.

Essence Magazine: This tour was an excellent opportunity for students to see what careers are available, not only in fashion and interior design but also in publishing, graphic design, and business management. The presenter for this tour was a journalist/book critic for the magazine. He provided the students with information about careers, scholarships, and internships available across the country.

Design Lab at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT): FIT has a collection of clothing ranging from the beginning of the 20th century (1900s) to the early 21st century (2000s). During this seminar, we learned about the history of fashion while seeing actual clothing examples from each decade. The presenter explained how fashion related to what was happening in our country photo 7cduring each decade, such as The Great Depression and World War II. The students were very surprised to see the correlation between history and the fashion history.

Olah Inc.: This was a seminar with a textile chemist at Olah Inc., which is a company who makes and sells denim fabric to major clothing construction companies, such as Old Navy, Gap, J.Crew, and Banana Republic. We learned about fashion merchandising, business management, and textile design.

Parsons School of Design: The students loved touring the campus of Parsons School of Design and many were very interested in learning more about the school. They really enjoyed seeing the students working on their designs, as well as seeing the types of classrooms in the fashion design school. While on campus, students learned about scholarships and other programs available at the school.

photo 6bKenneth King: Kenneth King is a couture fashion designer who started out with nothing. He presented information about his journey as a fashion designer, including the ups and the downs of the business. He explained how hard work is not fun, and times get really tough, but if you keep on pushing you can become successful. He is a great example of this because of his success in the fashion industry. Kenneth also showed the students the garments he has designed. He is a very talented designer and clothing constructor. The students were amazed at the detail and creativity of his designs.

Kleinfeld Bridal: Although a tour wasn’t scheduled at Kleinfeld Bridal we decided to go to the shop to take a few pictures. While we were in the lobby, we lucked out and the owner came out and took us on a tour. We saw a conveyor system that holds all of the dresses, dressing rooms, bridal presentation room, business offices, alterations facility, accessory department, and a hand-beading room. This tour was an unexpected surprise and a great experience. This was definitely the highlight of the trip.

Each student had an amazing experience in New York City as they learned more about the fashion industry, and the vast number of career opportunities available. What a rewarding and unforgettable trip!

photo 3dMary Pressley, the mother of one of the students who went to NYC, said this about her daughter’s experience. “Kudos to Maple Mountain High School and Nebo School District for sponsoring last week’s fabulous NYC trip. My 16-year daughter came home totally inspired and happy, with grandiose ideas of what she may want to do in her future!  I am amazed at everything the group was able to do and see—backstage on Broadway, trying on costumes, meeting with designers, touring fashion magazines, and design schools. I grew up in New York and never did anything like this.”

Utah FCCLA Conducts a Successful Fall Leadership Conference

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Alesha Hurst photoBy Alesha Hurst, Utah FCCLA VP of Public Relations

There’s nothing like the sound of hundreds of cheering teenagers to put you in a good mood, especially when they are young leaders who aim to make the world a better place. While standing onstage amidst a sea of smiling FCCLA student leaders, I felt so much pride for the outstanding organization that had brought us all together and united us in a single cause.

This remarkable event, the 2014 Fall Leadership Conference for the Utah delegation of FCCLA, proved to be a huge success as chapter officers from across the state attended leadership training workshops and participated in team-building activities. Students left the conference with fun ideas for their chapters and a renewed urge to spread the word about FCCLA.

Workshops included information about specific offices and their duties, as well as parliamentary procedure and other important topics. The focus of the conference was to give inspiration for activities and methods of leadership so that the FCCLA members of Utah would be able to have an effective, productive year. In my opinion, we accomplished our goal.

Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox was the keynote speaker for the conference. He delivered an encouraging speech about the importance of learning from failures in order to have success in life. He shared interesting stories and gave a wonderful presentation that left students feeling empowered and ready to lead.

In addition to leadership activities, members had the opportunity to give service by participating in our fundraiser for Share Our Strength, a national campaign dedicated to ending childhood hunger. We ended up raising $354.50 for the program, and as a reward, the attendees were able to watch four state officers get pied in the face. The lucky recipients of the pie facials were Tanner Richardson, Maddie Barr, Wesley Carter, and Kayla Orton.

The Utah FCCLA Fall Leadership Conference was a fantastic experience for everyone involved, and I cannot wait to see what FCCLA has in store for its members next!

FCCLA members serve photo 2 - cropped