Long County students Meagan DeLoach and Ashley Burnside attended the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America National Leadership Conference on July 7-11 in Nashville, Tenn.
DeLoach represented the Blue Tide alongside 3,600 other high-school students in the conference’s Students Taking Action with Recognition event, which helped participants build proficiency in leadership and job-related skills. She competed in the “teach-and-train” competition by preparing a lesson plan on nutrition and wellness for a seventh-grade class. She won a silver medal in her division.
According to FCCLA advisor Bethany Gilliam, who chaperoned the trip, DeLoach and Burnside took advantage of the opportunity to gain knowledge that they now will pass on to other students. The girls will help others discover their strengths, target their goals and initiate a plan to achieve them, Gilliam said.
The conference consisted of seminars that focused on community-violence prevention, physical fitness, financial responsibility, family values, academics and career exploration. Gilliam said that specific issues, such as obesity prevention and the changing roles of men and women in the workplace and home, were addressed in several presentations.
The FCCLA, founded in 1945, is a national organization that helps boys and girls become leaders in their communities, according to Gilliam, who added that there are more than 5,500 chapters in the United States.
“The FCCLA ultimate leadership experience is unique among youth organizations, because its programs are planned and run by its members,” Gilliam said. “It is the only career and technical in-school organization with the family as its central focus.”