SCHS students place first and second at the virtual FCCLA Annual State Conference


Olive Howden

The conference was held virtually this year due to the pandemic.

This year, due to shelter-in-place restrictions, FCCLA’s annual California State Conference was a two-hour virtual event rather than the usual four-day event. The prerecorded meeting was held on Saturday, April 25, and while members had the option to type into a chat, it was not an effective method of communication, according to SCHS chapter president sophomore Alecea Zeitler.

FCCLA stands for Family, Career and Community Leaders of America and is a national organization. Members are able to learn about jobs and participate in competitions relating to family and consumer sciences. Normally, students qualify for state by competing at regionals, but this year, competitions were not held at the state level at all. Competitors were instead awarded based on their regional scores.

SCHS junior Joanna Luna and senior Lindsey Crocker took first and second place respectively in the job application competition. For Luna, the win was unexpected because it was based on her scores at the regional competition.

“At first I was surprised, but afterwards, I was really happy and excited,” Luna said. “I didn’t know that I was going to place or how scoring was going to work.”

Although the virtual version was not the exact same as the in-person event, Luna said this year’s conference included most of the major moments that made the original event a wonderful experience.

“I saw chapters communicate with each other through chats and people being appreciated for their hard work in FCCLA and competitions,” Luna said.

For Zeitler, however, the missing in-person interactions and events were a noticeable drawback.
“Our state conference is the highlight of the year and a huge bonding experience for every member,” Zeitler said. “(The) virtual conference was generally less emotional, and we were unable to truly feel connected because we couldn’t interact with each other. And we missed out on workshops and meetings with professionals.”

However, SCHS FCCLA chapter members are able to make up for the missed bonding time at state through online club meetings.

“We are holding virtual meetings every Thursday at noon,” SCHS chapter treasurer Crocker said. “They are a bit different since we can’t interact in person, and as an officer, we can’t plan the meetings as well.”

According to Luna, FCCLA is currently working on a project to thank essential workers. They are creating a collage of heart-shaped food which will be posted online to show support for workers in the food industry.

“Right now we are focusing on bonding as a chapter, showing support for our community and chapter officer elections for next year,” Luna said.