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The Packer Weekly: FCCLA: students making a difference

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By Nicole Johnson

Family Career Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) is a group in the school that is dedicated to volunteering and keeping the essence of family apparent through all of their actions. Junior Marisa Pacella, who is the President of not only West Fargo’s FCCLA group but the district as well, believes the group is a great way to advance people’s leadership skills and make friends.

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“The members of FCCLA volunteer at places like Nano’s House, an emergency foster care house. We volunteer our time to helping others in the community,” Pacella said. “FCCLA means to me personally being with people that I love and furthering the ideals that FCCLA holds.”

The group, who has won nationally, competes at three different levels. The first level of their STAR (Students Taking Action with Recognition) event takes place districtly on January 22nd in West Fargo. The State competition is in early April in Bismarck and the national competition will be taking place in July in San Antonio Texas.

“I did STAR events last year and advanced to state with silver and got silver at state but did not advance to nationals,” junior Amber Ripplinger said. “Last year we had 2 groups from the high school advance to nationals which was awesome. I expect great things from this year’s competition because we have more interest than ever and each group is working very hard to put their projects together and do everything to meet all the requirements.”

Ripplinger, the Vice President of Community Service, believes that the key to doing well at this year’s competitions is the added work days where each group can come into the school and work with advisors.

“We usually do a lot of research on our topic and find out as much as we possibly can,” senior Reveena Goyal said. “Then we make a tag board to display the things we’ve learned about our topic and how it plays a significant role. We practice and present three times before locals. If we qualify for state, we look over the comments our judges have for us and try to improve our project even more.”

With the group working hard to improve from last year, they remind themselves the main reason for FCCLA which is to help the community by volunteering and keeping the essence of family prominent.

“FCCLA is a great organization that is close to my heart,” Goyal said. “When I think of FCCLA, I think of family and community and how it combines the two. I enjoy volunteering in our community and helping out. It also encourages people to push themselves a bit more and do what they can for their community. People should join this organization as the people in it are extremely welcoming and motivating. You get to volunteer, do service projects and compete. It also helps improve a person’s leadership skills.”

Competitions are coming up in January; the team is working hard to do their best and represent West Fargo’s FCCLA club the best they can.

“Competitions and mostly by our common interests in helping others [is what keeps us invested],” Ripplinger said. “It is truly a group I am passionate about because I believe it makes me a better person each year I am a part of it.”

(The Packer Weekly is an ongoing column authored by journalism students at West Fargo High School with the intent of providing awareness about and insight into a variety of school-related topics and activities. For additional information visit westfargopacker.org).

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