FCCLA qualifies to compete at National Leadership Conference in Denver


Photo Courtesy of Jane Flanagan

FCCLA members enjoy a moment together while attending States.

Emily Dudash, Co-Editor-in-Chief

In 2019, Wakefield High School’s chapter of Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America, known as FCCLA, was the largest club in North Carolina. After a sharp decline in membership following the COVID-19 pandemic and a drive to increase participation and motivation for regional and national events, Wakefield’s FCCLA is stronger than ever. Following a regional competition in Greensboro this past winter, the FCCLA team received multiple first and second-place victories, qualifying the team for the FCCLA National Leadership Conference this summer. The conference will take place July 2-6 in Denver, Colorado. 

Jane Flanagan is the advisor for the FCCLA team. For Flanagan, this national competition signifies the grit of the past four years accumulated. Flanagan discusses the event. 

“[National Leadership Conference] is a three-day event where [students] can participate in different [workshops] and compete in events related to Family and Consumer Sciences,” Flanagan said. 

Events range from apparel and textiles, sewing, culinary arts and more. At the FCCLA North Carolina State Leadership Conference, which took place the first weekend in February at the Greensboro Convention Center, Wakefield students scored a victory in the culinary arts events. FCCLA president Keira Cox elaborates on her anticipation surrounding the event. 

“At Nationals, they will compete against [all FCCLA qualifying members] in the United States,” Cox said. “I’m very confident in the people [competing] this year. We performed [incredibly well] at the state competition.”

At the FCCLA North Carolina State Competition, sophomore Jay Cannon was elected as FCCLA North Carolina Vice President of Public Relations; Cannon is the first student from Wakefield High School to be represented as a regional officer for FCCLA. 

“Being a state officer [means] that I [could] be a representative of North Carolina [at the National competition,]” Cannon said. “I have big shoes to fill but I’m looking forward to it.”

The five students representing Wakefield will compete in various culinary events at the competition. Mallery Beland is the public relations officer for FCCLA at Wakefield. Beland shares her excitement about the club.

In FCCLA we value leadership and try to encourage members to take charge and become leaders in other communities.

— Beland

“Inside Wakefield’s FCCLA chapter, students can make friends and learn more about CTE classes and future opportunities. We also have done community service hours and fundraising for organizations like No Kid Hungry,” Beland said. “In FCCLA we value leadership and try to encourage members to take charge and become leaders in other communities.”

But aside from the competition, Cannon reflects on the bonding that the national competition will provide.

“I’m excited for the opening ceremony where all the states will show their flags and receive national [FCCLA] recognition,” Cannon said. 

Overall, the FCCLA organization has provided numerous opportunities for students, whether it’s an opportunity for students to showcase their skills or gain imperative leadership qualities that can be applied to all career aspirations, FCCLA offers a place for everyone.

“FCCLA provides young leaders with the ultimate leadership experience,” Cannon said. “We provide students with so many opportunities to explore their strengths and better their weaknesses.”

FCCLA members express enthusiasm after competing at Regionals. (Photo Courtesy of Jane Flanagan)