FCCLA gaining popularity at CHS

Kelby Hicks
Three years ago an organization—Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA)—started at Custer Jr./Sr High School (CHS) under the leadership of CHS Family and Consumer Sciences teacher Tiffany Newman. 
Students middle school through grade 12 can  become a member at any time as long as they have taken a course in Family and Consumer Sciences. The first year, the Custer chapter started with 29 members and now has 24. Each chapter requires a membership fee which covers local, state and national dues. The Custer chapter membership fee is $25. 
“We hope to see 35 members this year, which is definitely achievable,” Newman said.
The Custer chapter has received awards which include 1. Bronze level - increased membership by 10 members from the previous affliation year. 2. Gold Star Merit Chapter 2019. 3. STAR event (National Programs in Action). 4. National Online STAR Event Qualifier - Chapter Website
“There are so many possibilities in this organization, which makes it a huge topic,” said senior Kelby Hicks. 
The students in the Custer chapter are busy this year with many projects and activities. This academic year is the first for Custer to have a student on a state leadership team, and Custer has three members on a leadership team. Hicks is a member of the South Dakota Current Trends leadership team, while Nancy Faulkenburg Brown and Ryken Faulkenburg
Brown are members of the national outreach leadership team.
Students will soon attend the Region One meeting in Rapid City Jan. 29. At regions, members will engage with other region one chapters and each officer from Custer will present a professional presentation, which is an informative speech that presents a current issue and how it can be resolved by FCCLA members. 
Another event students attend is the state conference. In South Dakota, it is held in Sioux Falls. This event allows students to present their projects to judges or run for a state position. If a member excels in a category, they are qualified to go to the national level, which is held at a different location each year. 
In March 1944, 29 Home Economics leaders met in Chicago, Ill., with an idea to create a national student organization. A year later on June 1, Future Homemakers of America (FHA) was officially founded at a convention in Chicago. By 1980, the national headquarters and leadership center were built in Reston, Va. Three years later this organization began growing by starting regional cluster meetings across the United States while also including STAR Events. 
In 1999, FHA changed to FCCLA, which  is a national Career and Technical Student Organization for young men and women. 
Today, over 175,000 members in more than 5,300 chapters are active in a network of associations in all 50 states, in addition to the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

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