FCCLA members compete at state


FCCLA group members Sherlynn Rodriguez, Jazlynn Early and Hannah Travis practice before competing.

Kaline Martinez, Editor

Discover Your Voice. 

Red blazers, white polos and big smiles took over the Dallas Convention Center to celebrate FCCLA’s 75th anniversary, for which FCCLA managed to put competitors’ and officers’ safety during the pandemic first. 

Students couldn’t volunteer as room consultants, timekeepers, or runners to help events run smoothly as in past years due to COVID. However, students participated virtually through the Whova app.           

“I do miss being a room consultant, it was fun watching other schools present their projects and to experience the different star events,” junior Saloni Jariwala said. “The Whova app was very interactive and was easy to use and get all of the information from our hotel room.”

The Chapter Service Portfolio Senior team competed on Thursday, consisting of juniors Jazlynn Early, Hannah Travis and Sherlynn Rodriguez. The group prepared themselves for last-minute preparations.

“Although I was nervous, I felt like we prepared ourselves well enough because we were so involved and we loved how our project turned out,” Travis said. “I liked that our group went first because after our event, we just relaxed for the whole trip.”

The rest of the teams did not compete until Friday, with five groups competing in person while four level-2 teams submitted their submissions weeks before the state conference. 

“It was weird competing, to be honest, because last year we didn’t have to wear a mask, we didn’t have to stay in the hotel, and we didn’t have to sit so spaced out. But we did this year,” senior Molli Doss said. “After we presented our project, it was somewhat relieving and we celebrated with food, hanging out with other members and watching TV. It was a great experience.”

Although the general session looked different, with members downloading virtual tickets in order to attend any session, sitting six feet apart and wearing masks at all times, the sessions were still full. This year’s keynote speaker was Patrick “Pac Man” Perez. 

“Our general session was a lot of fun. The keynote speaker made it more interesting as he had everyone get up to dance and joke around. He also had an amazing message of taking on unexpected challenges in life as he did in dance,” senior Nicole Rice said. “With COVID-19, we were all worried about how the general session would work out. But we were in a giant room, marks were required, and everyone sat in their own region with their chairs six feet apart the entire time. And our awards were done by one region at a time so I believe they did the best they could do to make our sessions safe for everyone.” 

Out of nine groups who participated in these star events, five teams placed in the top five. Food Innovations Level 3 5th- Seth Whittlesey, Scarlet Carrillo, Disha Patel, Chapter Service Project Portfolio Level 2 5th- Pari Jariwala, Ashlynn Carrillo, Nidia Dominguez, and Chapter In Review Display Level 3 4th- Dayani Compean, Selina Zacarias, Cynthia Sanchez. 

“Man, it was hard. There was nothing easy about what we did, but it was really cool to see everyone come together to figure out ways on how to deal with COVID-19,” FCCLA advisor Melissa Isaacs said. “I’m glad COVID-19 is on its way out the door so that we can focus on what’s really important in our lives. My expectations for next year is to have four or five teams heading out to  Nationals in San Diego, California.”

There are two teams who are 1st alternate for nationals: Sports Nutrition Level 3 3rd- Logan Skeleton, Kaline Martinez, Riley Ayres, and Chapter Service Project Display Level 2 3rd- Alexis O’Daniel, Maddy Howell, and Erica Bryson. Sophomore Mieka Whitehead participated in Spotlight on Projects and received Evaluator’s Choice and National Qualifier. 

“While we did have a few complications, we did the best we could’ve done,” Ayres said. “Although we didn’t get the place we wanted, it wasn’t so bad. But we’ll do better next time.”