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Consumer Science Club teaches real-life skills

During+a+work+night+before+the+district+STAR+event+competition+in+Tonganoxie%2C+sophomore+members+Destiny+Downing%2C+Jade+Byer+and+Kaylan+Benton+prepare+to+present+their+projects.
During a work night before the district STAR event competition in Tonganoxie, sophomore members Destiny Downing, Jade Byer and Kaylan Benton prepare to present their projects.

During a work night before the district STAR event competition in Tonganoxie, sophomore members Destiny Downing, Jade Byer and Kaylan Benton prepare to present their projects.

Anna-Maya Hachmeister

Anna-Maya Hachmeister

During a work night before the district STAR event competition in Tonganoxie, sophomore members Destiny Downing, Jade Byer and Kaylan Benton prepare to present their projects.

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When sophomore Miranda Meyer stepped off the plane in Washington D.C. last July, she was ready for the challenges awaiting her. As the first Free State students to ever qualify for the National Leadership Conference, Meyer and her partner spent four days competing, meeting leadership students from all over the country, learning about scholarship opportunities and attending seminars. Meyer left the NLC with silver medals and the honor of reaching heights in FCCLA that no Free State student has before.

“[Nationals] is really fun,” Meyer said. “We had to go to some seminars, but other than that we got to go sightseeing with Mr. Henderson and we got to do what we wanted.”

FCCLA stands for Future, Career and Community Leaders of America. It is a club for students who want to learn real-life skills. Students involved are competing in events that will equip them for everyday situations they will face after high school.

“Students put together presentations or speeches and these are called Students Taking Action and Recognition [STAR],” Family and Consumer Sciences teacher Nolan Henderson said. “[There are] events for community outreach and community needs.”

There are three types of STAR events: cooperative, individualized and competitive. Cooperative events are group projects. Individualized events are speeches or job interviews. Competitive events can be group or individual and they are usually used to focus on the multiple roles of family member, wage earner and community leader.

“STAR events are over very open topics, so you take it your own way,” Meyer said. “Last year I planned a wedding.”

Every Wednesday, club members meet with Henderson to discuss upcoming events, fundraisers and things they are doing to benefit the community.

“[I would recommend the club] to someone who works hard and still wants to have fun and wants to be a leader,” freshman Taylor Hamby said.

As a group the club is working on a book drive and a business clothing drive. Henderson is particularly passionate about the busi- ness clothing drive.

“I don’t think young men are taught how to dress properly,” Henderson said. “There’s a need for good dress clothes and to be taught to dress properly for business occasions, weddings and job interviews.”

The club is proud of how far they have come, and plan to continue growing and contributing to the community with every opportunity they get. For Meyer, the club has grown into a meaningful part of her life.

“I joined the club because my friend said we could get scholarships, but I really enjoyed it and I wanted to really take part in the club,” she said. “Now I’m the president so I’m making my way.”

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Consumer Science Club teaches real-life skills