Three Carroll County High School students and one recent graduate have earned the right to represent Virginia in the FCCLA National Leadership Conference in San Diego, California during a seven-day trip this summer.
Callie Rose, Elizabeth Combs and Ally Davis all qualified for nationals for their strong performances at the 71st Virginia State Leadership Conference in Virginia Beach in April. They will be joined by Katie Rose, who will be going to judge a competition and to compete in a post-graduate event.
“I am very proud and very excited for them,” said Susan Rose, who helps head up the FCCLA program at CCHS. “Those three have never flown on a plane. It’s a new thing for them. On the last day they will get to go to Disneyland. They will get to go to the San Diego Zoo and they usually have dynamic speakers that come in. It ‘s a fun thing and they will have a good time.”
An acronym for Family Career and Community Leaders of America, FCCLA is a sister organization of the FFA. Carroll County sent five girls to the state leadership conference this year to compete against over 800 competitors from across Virginia. Two CCHS students won state awards during the event. A sophomore, Callie Rose won in a national event for applied mathematics for culinary management. By virtue of her win, she earned the right to compete in San Diego, as well as a $13,000 college scholarship. Junior Ally Davis qualified for the national conference by winning a silver medal in event planning (she planned her finances out for her senior year on a budget).
Carroll sophomore Nicole Hiatt won the state event in early childhood education exhibits for cultural differences. State events do not qualify for nationals, however. Carroll junior Megan Garland won a bronze medal in the Food Innovations national competition. For the event, Garland had to create a drink that had at least a half of a cup of fruit or vegetables in it. Garland’s medal-winning drink was chocolate avocado banana.
“It was just like drinking chocolate milk,” Susan Rose said. “You never knew there was banana, avocado and zucchini in it. It was amazing.”
Sophomore Elizabeth Combs qualified for San Diego by winning a bronze medal in the Illustrated Talk competition. The national leadership conference will be held July 2-9. It also continues a recent hot streak for Carroll’s FCCLA program.
Last year, Carroll sent four girls to nationals in Washington, D.C. Callie and Katie Rose teamed up and won the state award for the childcare event before going on to finish second in the nation. Carroll’s Alyssa Raffeinner and Karissa Hayden both finished first in the nationals last year. Raffeinner won the national gold medal in applied mathematics for culinary management, while Hayden took the top spot nationally for the job interview category.
“Last year was the first time we had sent somebody to the national competition in probably about 15 years, but we are on a roll nationally now,” Susan Rose said. “No seniors competed this year and last year we had three. This year we had tenth and eleventh graders who are actually planning their events for next year because they want to go and they want to compete and win.”
Although culinary arts are a large part of the FCCLA, the organization entails way more than just cooking. Rose said it’s the only student organization with family and careers as its major focuses. It focuses more on careers and how to balance careers and family.
“We have so many students that don’t have the ideal family that you used to see on TV. The FCCLA helps balance that and we do lots of different things besides the childcare and culinary,” she said. “We do everyday things like balancing checkbooks and learning to write resumes and basically helping them to become productive citizens when they get out of this school. All of our student organizations, FBLA and Interact and FFA, it’s a thing for them not to go home and sit in a chair and play games and become vegetables. I always encourage them to just join something and become a part of something.”
Rose said the FCCLA offers dual credit classes for culinary and childcare. It allows students to gain college credit and have access to programs they normally wouldn’t get until college. As for the San Diego trip, Carroll will be sending three of the current students out of the 125 competing on behalf of the entire state of Virginia in July.
“It’s a big deal. They will be able to compete and meet people from all over the United States,” Rose said.
The week-long trip to San Diego will not be cheap. Just the plane tickets from Roanoke will cost more than $500 per person. The FCCLA program will be holding several fundraisers to help cover the cross-country journey. The group sells hot dogs at every home CCHS softball game with chili. Hot dogs are $2 each or $5 for two hot dogs with chips and a drink. The program is also selling custom-made vinyl car stickers of anything a person would like to order.
The FCCLA has also started selling take-home meals every Wednesday and will continue to do so until the end of school. The meal will be something different each week and will feed a family of four for $20. Rose said the first take-home meal consisted of baked spaghetti, green beans and a dozen rolls. Meals will be delivered or are available for pick-up. Orders must be made by Tuesday afternoon and will be prepared by the school’s culinary class.
“We did it last year and we were very successful because you can’t really go to McDonalds with a family of four and spend less than $20. If anybody is interested, just call the school’s main office (728-2125) and leave a message for me,” Rose said. “We are raising money because this is a once-in-a-lifetime thing the girls are getting to do.”
Allen Worrell can be reached at (276) 779-4062 or on Twitter@AWorrellTCN