Joseph Charter School’s FCCLA (Family Career and Community Leaders of America) students brought home all gold medals after their recent trip to the FCCLA National Leadership Convention in Anaheim, California. The students, Renee Seal, Emily Vargas, Claire Webb, Mary Theil and Maleah Murray, earned their spots at National Convention by placing high at the state level in March, being good role models and leaders in their school and serving their community.
Their gold medal awards stemmed from the outstanding projects that the Joseph Charter School students carried out during the year. Projects generally reflect and build on the talents, interests, and ambitions of each FCCLA member. “We want them to become leaders in their schools, out in the county, in their homes, and so they do service projects surrounding something that tugs at their own hearts,” said Lisa Collier, FCCLA advisor.
Rising junior Emily Vargas and three other FCCLA members, Renee Seal, Ellie Collier and Layla Snyder, all love drama — the kind with scripts that’s done on a stage. For their gold-winning FCCLA project they offered a drama camp for elementary and middle school-age students that put on the play “Beauty and the Beast.” Importantly, the drama camp provided some theatrical exercises to learn about drama, talk about what roles they’d like to play, talk about the script. The fifteen “campers” made the whole set themselves. But it was more than just a play. “It was all-inclusive,” said Collier. “The camp included some students who were really struggling to find social and other outlets in different ways.”
The FCCLA students used the play to help the younger kids understand how to better communicate and socialize with their peers. “They helped students address questions like ‘How can you be a better friend? How can we include everyone?’” Collier said. “The girls did a great job of building skills surrounding friendship and inclusion, as well as acting skills in doing the play.”
Mehlea Murry and Mary Thiel’s project helped get elementary students excited about reading and about book choice. Murry and Thiel helped Joseph Charter School librarian Angela Gorham put on the Battle of the Books in the spring.
“They both are very passionate about fantasy reading,” Collier said. “That’s really their genre. They may do a similar project this coming year, focused on how fantasy books can help you identify with yourself if you can see yourself in characters.”
The national FCCLA focus this year was Believe in Yourself. The conference sessions offered exciting activities, skill building and projects for ways to believe in yourself as an individual leader, and as a chapter. While in Anaheim, students, as well as their two advisors Marla Dotson and Lisa Collier, got to experience many of the area’s attractions, such as Disneyland, Universal Studios, Medieval Times and Knott’s Berry Farm. In the coming year, Collier, who will be the sole advisor now that Marla Dotson has retired, expects really exciting projects to share with the school and community.