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HJHS students recognized in national FCCLA competition

Bottom row from left to right: Danyan Morrison, Sarah Cook, Katrina Basso, Alyssa Armstrong,Mercedez Allred. Top Row from left to right: Gwyneth Kardelis, Adrianna England, Susan Heller(Adviser), Dylan Keele

Helper Junior High School students recently participated in STAR Events (Students Taking Action with Recognition) at Family, Career and community Leaders of America's (FCCLA) 2012 National Leadership Conference.

Katrina Basso, Danyan Morrison, Sarah Cook received a bronze medal in the Focus on Children category. Dylan Keele received a bronze medal in the Environmental Ambassador category. Alyssa Armstrong and Mercedez Allred received a silver medal in the Chapter Showcase Service Project category. Adrianna England and Gwyneth Kardelis received a bronze medal in the Chapter Showcase Display category.

Their medals were presented at a recognition session honoring all participants at the Rosen Shingle Creek Inn on July 12. More then 7,000 members, advisers, alumni and guests from across the nation attended the meeting. Approximately 3,700 students advanced from the local, regional, and state level of STAR events to the national meeting.

FCCLA's STAR Events are based on the belief that every student is a winner. Competition, evaluation and recognition all stress cooperation as the basis of success. Both youth and adults work together to manage the events and serve as evaluators of the participants.

The students not only competed in STAR Events, but they also explored the National Leadership Conference through presentations, workshops, and youth sessions, which included dynamic keynote speakers, workshops, and professional development classes. With the theme of "#realitycheck," this year's conferences was a conference of firsts. The conference tapped into the world of social media and provided unique opportunities to take advantage of recent changes in technology. FCCLA attendees were able to download the FCCLA app on their Smart Phones and upload information about the conference. Other firsts included workshops on working with digital media including learning about online STAR events and creating digital projects. Another first included the implementation of a number of relevant youth issues such as making sense of hashtags, fighting hunger at a local level, turning TV into reality and TXT N UR Next were topics presented. The students also had the opportunity to spend time at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, Epcot Center, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, Universal Studios and Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum.

Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) is a dynamic and effective national student organization that helps young men and women become leaders an address important personal, family, work and societal issues through Family and Consumer Sciences education. The organization has involved more then ten million youth since its founding in 1945. The Helper Junior High Chapter is very active and is under the direction of family and consumer sciences teacher, Susan Heller.

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