FCCLA Celebrates 70 Years of Career and Technical Education
If you were walking around downtown Washington, DC this week, you might have seen them: thousands of high school students, wearing their signature red blazers, who came to the Nation’s Capital from across the country for the Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) National Leadership Conference.
Students who are involved with FCCLA year-round through their local chapters are engaged in a wide variety of issues, and they are often teachers and mentors for their peers. While at the National Leadership Conference, they attended sessions on advocacy, leadership, career advancement, entrepreneurship, communications, parliamentary procedure, nutrition and wellness, and many more topics. They met fellow students from other areas of their states, competed in debate and knowledge bowl tournaments, and made new friends. They will take everything they learned back home and share it in their schools and communities.
On Wednesday, these young leaders flooded the grounds of the U.S. Capitol and celebrated their 70th birthday with an advocacy day rally sponsored by The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.org) to promote career and technical education (CTE) as well as the importance of responsible decision-making. Members of the 2014-2015 FCCLA Executive Council acted as Masters of Ceremony.
Ralph Blackman, President and CEO of Responsibility.org, spoke to the assembled teens about how gathering as a family is the perfect time to talk about topics like the dangers of drinking alcohol underage. Responsibility.org is a partner of FCCLA and a sponsor of the FCCLA @ The Table initiative, which encourages families to have dinner together.
“Research shows that family dinners protect teens from risky behaviors. Teens who have infrequent dinners are TWICE as likely to consume alcohol,” Blackman told the crowd. “We are proud to partner with FCCLA to provide confidence-building tools to parents and teens to encourage responsible choices.”
Additional speakers included Dr. Bella Dinh-Zarr, Vice-Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB); Captain Sara B. Newman, Director of the Office of Public Health at the National Park Service; and Dr. Robert Zarr, President of the Physicians for a National Health Program. Following the speeches, all of the kids, their advisors, and Slapshot, the Washington Capitals mascot, showed off their dancing skills by doing First Lady Michelle Obama’s “#GimmeFive” dance.
Responsibility.org congratulates FCCLA on 70 years of training youth and helping them reach their potential.