More FCCLA members from HRHS heading to nationals than ever before

From left to right: Meghana Kunam (Senior),  Rachel Parziale (Senior), Olivia Xiao (Senior), Kendall Frederics (Junior), Alyssa Giorgi (Junior), Tala Obeid (Freshmen), Julia Dickey (Freshman), Michaela Bailey (Sophomore), Jessie Bryant (Junior), Jenne Lee Sanford (Junior), and Reese Wolfe (Sophomore). PhotoCo: Julia Dickey

From left to right: Meghana Kunam (Senior), Rachel Parziale (Senior), Olivia Xiao (Senior), Kendall Frederics (Junior), Alyssa Giorgi (Junior), Tala Obeid (Freshmen), Julia Dickey (Freshman), Michaela Bailey (Sophomore), Jessie Bryant (Junior), Jenne Lee Sanford (Junior), and Reese Wolfe (Sophomore).
PhotoCo: Julia Dickey

Six out of eleven members who went to state got a gold medal in their event and will be heading to Washington DC to compete for nationals on July 4th, 2015. Shannon Tufts, one of the FCCLA advisors, said that there have never been so many FCCLA members from Highlands Ranch High School heading to nationals.

On April 9th through 11th, eleven FCCLA members headed to state to present projects they had been working on for months in front of judges. They spent countless hours finding ways to impact their schools and communities, and then used pictures, statistics, and more to recount their experience to three judges. Constructing projects began with planning in advance months before going to state. For the members, it all started with choosing a topic that interested them.

“First you choose an event like Recycle and Redesign or Advocacy where you fight for something you believe in and then you present it in front of the judges,” said Michaela Bailey, FCCLA President. Bailey got to go to nationals last year when she advocated for Douglas County Schools to educate students more about suicide and suicide prevention.

“State was what really got me excited about FCCLA. It helped me as a leader and encouraged me to try to be President of FCCLA because I became so passionate about it,” said Bailey. This year, her project was about mentoring younger members to become better leaders. She received second place gold for her project and will be heading to Washington DC this summer.

Two freshmen, Tala Obeid and her partner Julia Dickey, did a project in the event “Focus on the Children”. They went in the preschool located in HRHS three days in a row to teach the preschoolers about Stranger Danger, using puppets, music videos, and a KWL chart to give them an interactive experience.  There are also three seniors–Meghana Kunam, Olivia Xiao, and Rachel Parziale– who organized an event HRHS students attended to make blankets for children in hospitals, called Project Linus. Both groups won first place gold in their categories and are going to nationals.

Other competing members also got medals. Jessie Bryant and Jenne Lee Sanford, juniors, got gold in Advocacy. Alyssa Giorgi, a junior, got gold in Fashion Design and a $500 scholarship to Johnson and Wales. Kendall Frederics, junior, got silver in Recycle and Redesign. Reese Wolfe, sophomore, got bronze in Fashion Design.

“I was so happy I almost cried,” said Alyssa Wayman, another FCCLA advisor and teacher at HRHS. “The best part of the process is seeing [competing members] do well and be proud of [their] hard work.” Wayman and Tufts both guided, critiqued, and helped the projects prosper.

“In FCCLA, we are passionate about what we do. We push ourselves to the limit, try our hardest, and strive for the best,” said Obeid.

Julia Dickey, Guest Reporter

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