Lincoln, Nebraska – Over 1,000 youth members and adult sponsors gathered for the Nebraska Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) State Leadership Conference held April 3-5, 2022 at Pinnacle Bank Arena and the Haymarket area in Lincoln. This conference provided students opportunities to hear from the keynote speaker, participate in breakout sessions, compete in STAR Events, be recognized for their work throughout the year, and elect the 2022-2023 State Officer Team. Six students from Exeter-Milligan attended this year’s conference (pictured L-R: Joni Vossler, Kierra Papik, Savana Krupicka, Cameran Jansky, Emma Olsen, and Emma Meyer.)
Students began their conference leadership journey on Sunday, April 3, with the Opening General Session led by the 2021-2022 State Officer Team. During this time, members also heard from keynote speaker, EJ Carrion. EJ shared an inspiring message all about “making the jump.” He encouraged members to go after their dreams and not let fear or chance of failure stand in their way.
Throughout the day on Monday, April 4, participants had the opportunity to attend breakout sessions where they learned about balancing their time, pursuing leadership roles, leading with their values, exploring FCCLA opportunities, and much more! The Opportunity Fair also featured over 30 colleges, organizations, and businesses for members to connect with. In addition to the great sessions, students had the opportunity to give back to the Lincoln community through the FCCLA Serves projects. Over 125 students participated in service projects at places such as the Child Advocacy Center, Lincoln Children’s Zoo, and People’s City Mission. Members also had the opportunity to choose from many tour options such as Hudl and the Capitol Building, as well as several other tourist destinations across Lincoln.
Presentation of awards and recognition for involvement is a focal point of the State Leadership Conference each year. Awards were presented during the Recognition Session on Monday evening where recipients were recognized on-stage for their accomplishments. This year, the Exeter-Milligan FCCLA Chapter was recognized for receiving the SilverChapter Award. This award is based on competitive events and programs, leadership, membership and promoting FCCLA.
The on-site service project included purchasing socks from WeHelpTwo to help a young girl from Uganda Angel Nafula receive an education. Conference attendees went above and beyond to not only sponsor Angel, but two other students in Uganda as well. Additionally, 200 pairs of socks will be donated to organizations in the Norfolk, Kearney, and Scottsbluff communities to help individuals across Nebraska!
This year, over 550 students will compete in STAR events at the State Leadership Conference. STAR Events (Students Taking Action with Recognition) recognize members for proficiency and achievement in individual and chapter projects, leadership skills, and career preparation in over 30 national and five state events. Students who were named the State Champion or Runner-Up and earned a Gold or Silver medal also qualified to compete in the national competition in San Diego, California in late June. Joni Vossler competed in Professional Presentation, Level 2: Beyond the Scale. Her presentation made an awareness for eating disorders, by defining what an eating disorder is, the different types and definitions, mental and physical effects an eating disorder has on one’s body, ways to seek help. She had the opportunity to interview a young adult who was diagnosed with a disorder while in high school, had the student body of EM do a pre/post test following her presentation, handed out dum-dum suckers with labels : “eating disorders suck”, and did many presentations within the school and community. Joni received a Gold Medal and placed 3rd in her level. Congratulations Joni!
The conference wrapped up on Tuesday, April 5, with the Closing General Session. During this session, a conference in-review video highlighted the exciting moments of the conference.
FCCLA is a useful and dynamic national career and technical student organization that aids young men and women in their journey to become leaders and teaches them lifelong skills. It demonstrates the importance of understanding how to address important career, community, family, and societal issues through Family and Consumer Sciences education. Nebraska FCCLA has over 2,700 members in 100 chapters across the state. For more information about FCCLA, please visit www.nebraskafccla.org.