FCCLA Students Strike Gold
FCCLA Students Strike Gold
Posted on 07/19/2017
By Tim Reaves
BCS Communications

Taylor Brookshire has learned how to find the gold lining in a gray situation.

When her presentation materials went missing at a national competition earlier this month, the Erwin High School graduate and her partner could have given up. Instead, they used their available resources to build a working replacement on the fly and went on to win top honors.

“There wasn’t anything we could do about missing our project,” Brookshire said. “We just had to roll with the punches. That’s part of being a leader.”

Brookshire, rising junior Lane Worley, and dozens of other Buncombe County Schools students traveled to Nashville earlier this month for the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) National Leadership Conference.

FCCLA clubs at BCS high schools “promote personal growth and leadership development through Family and Consumer Sciences education,” according to www.fcclainc.org/.Erwin High School rising junior Lane Worley, left, and graduate Taylor Brookshire pose with their project, which later went missing at a national conference.

Representing Erwin, Enka, North Buncombe, and T.C. Roberson High Schools, BCS students presented their FCCLA club projects in front of a panel of judges who measured the quality of the presentation boards and speeches.

Brookshire and Worley’s category was Chapter in Review, a look back at a year’s worth of community activities. They spent the school year filling a large foam board with images of the Erwin FCCLA’s service projects – presents for Hospice patients, chemo caps for Mission Hospital, March of Dimes walks, and a Heritage Day at a local farm.

But when they arrived at the hotel, Brookshire and Worley couldn’t find their project. FCCLA advisor Kady Rice said their presentation board was wrapped in plastic and could have been mistaken for trash when they unpacked the bus.

“We spent the whole school year making it, since August,” Brookshire said. “It was upsetting.”
“They were disappointed, because they had a really good project,” Rice said. “I told them things like this are going to happen in their adult lives. You’ve got to be able to think on your feet, say ‘what is my backup plan?’ and not give up.”

Brookshire said that pep talk snapped her out of her funk. With not much time left before their presentation, she and Worley pulled together photos from emails and devices and combined them in a PowerPoint presentation. They leaned on their strong prepared speech and did their best.

“When we went in to present, we didn’t explain to the judges what had happened until after we presented, because we didn’t want them to feel sorry for us,” Brookshire said. “I told them that even though we didn’t have our board, we weren’t going to sit around in the hotel and not present, because that’s not what we were taught.”

The judges were impressed by the performance, even without the physical project. Brookshire and Worley were one of only two groups to win the Gold Award in their category.

“I really didn’t think we were going to get a gold, so it was surreal,” she said. “I was so happy and excited.”

It also showed how much she’s progressed in the last four years. Brookstone, who graduated in June, was a shy freshman when she first walked through the doors of Erwin High School.

“At the beginning of high school, I was pretty much the quiet one, but when I joined FCCLA I really connected,” she said. “I’ve really grown over those four years. I have no problem talking to anyone or just going out and doing my own thing. I think that’s why it was easier for me and my partner to present our project even without having the physical project.”

“FCCLA adds to the already robust Family and Consumer Sciences courses offered by Erwin and other BCS high schools,” Rice said. “Together, they promote leadership, real-world experience and 21st Century skills. They prepare our students for adulthood.”

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FCCLA National Leadership Conference results are as follows:

Enka High School
-- Paige Noble and Hailey Vinson earned a Gold Award in Focus on Children.
-- Leah Moore earned a Silver Award in Recycle and Redesign.
-- Yesenia Olvera, Salma Lopez, and Katherine Romero earned a Silver Award in Chapter Review Portfolio.
-- Martina Hinojosa earned a Bronze Award in National Programs in Action.

Erwin High School
-- Taylor Brookshire and Lane Worley earned a Gold Award for Chapter in Review Display.
-- Peyton Duckett, Dillon Ledford and Rebekah Dover earned a Gold Award for Illustrated Talk.
-- Haley Marlowe earned a Gold Award for Recycle and Redesign Occupational.
-- Nate Worley earned a Gold Award for Environmental Ambassador.
-- Adviser Lacey Grogan received the National Spirit of Advising Award.

North Buncombe High School
-- Karly Plemmons is the NC FCCLA First Vice President and attended state officer trainings with the other six officers from NC.
-- Ashton English, Kristen Bryson, Alex Baron and Paul Brown earned a Bronze medal in Parliamentary Procedure senior division.
-- Dawson Helmling earned a Bronze medal in Applied Math for Culinary Management senior division.
-- Karly Plemmons and Ashton English were recognized for completing the Power of One project.
-- Advisers Stephanie Griffin and Amy White were recognized for earning the title of Master Adviser.

T.C. Roberson High School
-- Madison Beddingfield earned a Gold Award in Fashion Design senior division.
-- Diana Ilinykh, Marissa Eudy, and Emma Hodes earned a Gold Award in Environmental Ambassador senior division.
-- Lili Diaz won a Silver Award in Recycle Redesign senior division.
-- Elanie Guzman won a Bronze Award in Early Childhood Occupational.
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