Excelling at Nationals

Caraline Means, Activities & Student Life Editor

They stepped onto the plane bound for LAX with a mixture of excitement, anxiety, and, of course, their suitcases. A week later, they stepped back off in the DFW airport with a sense of accomplishment, four medals, and memories to last a lifetime. This past summer, Cecilia Lopez, Jennifer Garcia, Kimberly Hidalgo, and Sharon Paredes had the chance to compete in the national STAR (Students Taking Action with Recognition) competition through FCCLA in Ana Heim, California.

A team must finish in the top three at regionals in Waco, then proceed to win first place at state in Houston to qualify to compete against teams from all over America in Ana Heim. Keeping this in mind, simply qualifying for a competition as prestigious as this is a great accomplishment. Jennifer competed in the Chapter Showcase Manual contest, and brought home a bronze medal for her scrapbook. Cecilia, Kimberly and Sharon competed in the Promote and Publicize event, winning silver medals. In this event, they were required to inform the community about FCCLA and present their results in a creative way. After advertising on the Sonic, Dickey’s, and YMCA letter boards, placing an add during the previews at the movie theater, and having La Pradera serve their drinks in cups endorsing the organization, they exhibited their information in a humorous “Date Night With FCCLA” skit. Aside from these that the girls participated in, there are hundreds of other contests, ranging from those that are community service- based to those where one creates something, such as a craft or a fashion outfit.

Though the thrill of competing and coming out on top alone was enough fun, it didn’t stop there. The girls, along with Mrs. Salai, had the opportunity to go to Disney Land and Universal Studios, and tour LA for a week. But wait, it gets better. Not only did they get to fly on an airplane, stay in a nice hotel, and experience the attractions of California firsthand, all they had to pay for were their personal expenses, as CISD paid for their transportation and boarding accommodations. After all of this, it would be pretty hard to pick a favorite part of the trip, but when asked, the girls unanimously narrowed it down to the perfect weather, the trip to Disneyland, and the opportunity to have such a great experience with their best friends. Mrs. Salai agreed with them and added that “it was a lot of fun to see the students go somewhere they had never been before and to see all of their hard work pay off.”

The girls would like to give a special thanks to Mrs. Salai, Mrs. Curl, Mrs. Mills, and Mr. Bower for their support and let them know that “if it weren’t for them, they wouldn’t have been as successful as they are.”

If you are interested in joining FCCLA, pay your $20 dues to Mrs. Salai in room C106 or Mrs. Curl in room C104. You can only compete in one event per year and the number of students they can take to these competitions are limited, so if you are interested in participating in a STAR event, listen for the announcement of when the meeting for that will be, or feel free to see them. They would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. The discovery the girls made from this experience was that “if you set your mind to something, you can go pretty far,” so don’t hesitate to get involved in activities such as these! You never know where they may take you.