Two students from Grant County High School are seeking to make significant contributions in the world around them. Working through their local, state, and national chapters of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), each will have the opportunity to enhance and influence educational and extra-curricular opportunities for their peers.
Kendall Clemons, GCHS Junior, has recently been appointed to the State FCCLA office of Vice President of Peer Education, while Jackie Foster, also a GCHS Junior, is seeking a national office with FCCLA. Jackie is one of two individuals from Kentucky chosen as a candidate for one of several national positions, with the final determinations being made after an intensive application process at the national conference in July.
Clemons and Foster were chosen for these state-level honors at the State FCCLA Conference in Louisville, March 19-22, 2017. Their selection was reflective of many hours of preparation and an evaluation which included written assessments, round-robin interviews, speeches, and an ongoing “interview” which started the second they arrived at the conference and continued through the announcement of their selection. “It was very intense,” states Clemons. “We were required to be “on” 100 percent of the time. We didn't always know who or when we were being evaluated, but everything - our appearance, our speech, our interactions, manners and mannerisms, and our knowledge of FCCLA - was under the microscope constantly.”
Both Clemons and Foster first served in regional posts – Clemons as first Vice President; Foster as VP of Community Service. They feel their experience in office, and even the intensity of the selection process for the state offices has benefited them greatly. “I’m very grateful for FCCLA,” states Foster. “This organization does a good job of taking each member and giving them small parts that help them grow progressively.”
Clemons adds, “This whole experience has given me confidence. I knew I had something to offer but was fearful of failing the process. I appreciate that Hayley Leach, who was chosen for state president in 2015, blazed the trail. She helped me realize both the opportunities a state office provides and the possibility that someone from Grant County could achieve it. I studied. I practiced and practiced. Then, ultimately, I had to trust in my preparation. I couldn’t let my fears get in the way. That I set a goal, prepared, then reached that goal has been very fulfilling.”
In her new role, Clemons will be promoting and implementing FCCLA’s national programs such as Student Body, Family First, Career Connection, and Stop the Violence. Foster’s roles will be dependent upon the position awarded. Regardless of the role, he feels his experience thus far has allowed him to be a better leader. “I’ve had to learn to speak in front of hundreds of people, be conscious of my presence with those around me, and have had the privilege of being involved in peer-led programs that address real issues in today’s world.”
Both Clemons and Foster desire to be teachers in their adult lives. Kendall would like to teach Family and Consumer Sciences, while Jackie, a former participant in a student exchange program in Japan, plans to teach International English. He hopes to eventually wind up on the political side of education. Each are taking advantage of these and other opportunities to increase their personal capacity and potential.
Congratulations to both students and best wishes for successful terms of office in their new roles.