Last month, Marlboro Middle School Student Joseph Schindler, President of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, gave a presentation to the school board on what the organization does and the benefits it provides to students.
“FCCLA is important for students because it teaches them crucial skills such as public speaking, time and money management, critical thinking and problem solving,” he said, adding that the skill students learn through this organization, “will help them with job interviews, giving articulate speeches to important people, working in groups with colleagues and budgeting time to do different things at work.”
Schindler said at the state level several hundred FCCLA students participate in scheduled workshops and competitive activities known as STAR events – Students Taking Action for Recognition. It is topped off with a banquet and a dance.
At the National Leadership Conference, about 7,000 qualifying FCCLA students from across the country meet, “to participate in STAR events, numerous recreational activities and meet new friends.” In 2019 the National Conference will be held in Anaheim, California in the Los Angeles Metropolitan area.
Schindler said the Marlboro chapter of FCCLA is currently raising money for Mid-Hudson Animal Aid in Beacon, “so that they don’t close and so these animals don’t go homeless.”
Owanya Mattis, VP of Public Relations and Community Service, said her experiences with FCCLA have been, “absolutely phenomenal.” She said the organization has provided her with the opportunity to run a NYS FCCLA meeting and meet with all of the FCCLA officers in the United States.
“FCCLA has been a major credit in my life, though challenging, the benefits are overwhelming,” she said.
Jason Djaparidze is the NYS FCCLA VP of Finance and Parliamentary Procedure.
“Essentially my job is to keep order in the state meeting and to read off the Treasurer’s Report,” he said. “Although FCCLA has been a great experience for me I feel bad that I have to take off from this job at the end of March.”
Jessica Singh is a NYS Officer Elect and attended the National Conference in Atlanta where she received a Gold Award. She reflected on her experience in FCCLA at the state and national levels.
“Overall it was a great experience and made memories I will always cherish,” she said.
Isabella Vicari is a NYS Junior Leader and is part of the Junior Leader Team at the state level. She competed at the National STAR events in Atlanta, earning a Silver Award.
“As a Junior Leader I have learned communication skills and taught life skills to help me make better decisions,” she said.
Sophia Benanti is a Junior Leader and is part of the leadership team at the state level. She competed in Atlanta and received a Silver Award.
“As a Junior Leader I’ve learned so much more about FCCLA and has gotten me new friends and has made me a better leader overall,” she said.
Three adults were honored at the school board meeting. Frank Milazzo will be receiving the NYS FCCLA School Board of Education Award for his many years of support that he has given to FCCLA. It was noted that he has attended many state conferences and provided a “supportive and calming voice for students when they have to wait to compete.” Parent Cindy Rifkin will be receiving the NYS Honorary Membership Award - “She helps organize events, provides transportation and can be counted on to always help out.”
ELA Teacher and FCCLA co-adviser Chelsea Wolfert will be receiving the Alumni Achievement Award. “She has been helping students take advantage of all the benefits that FCCLA has to offer.”
The three honorees will receive their awards at the NYS FCCLA State Conference and Competitions banquet that will be held on March 28 at the Villa Roma in Callicoon, NY.
Ann Marie Giacoia is the Home and Careers Teacher and has been the adviser to the FCCLA since 1993. Superintendent Michael Brooks gave special recognition to Giacoia for her long service to this important student organization, “fantastic, so thank you for that.”
Giacoia said presently there are 30 Middle School students and 20 High School students who stay after school once a week for FCCLA. Brooks said over the years FCCLA has had a positive impact on thousands of students.