When Tiffany Lopez joined the staff at Fremont High School, she had one goal: to get a chapter started for the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America.
It had been 20 years since FHS had one, and Lopez felt it was the right time.
“I was in FCCLA when I was in high school, and it’s really instrumental to me to get that going,” she said. “And so here we are. We are getting started, and we’re doing great.”
Lopez was successful in rebooting the FCCLA chapter, which now has 25 high school students in its membership.
As part of its fundraising process, FCCLA is first making chocolate-covered strawberries for Valentine’s Day this week for students to purchase.
FCCLA is a state and national organization that focuses on leadership and opportunities in careers to support families. The organization, founded in 1945, has over 175,000 members in 5,300 chapters across the country.
FCCLA also allows for students to take part in Students Taking Action with Recognition (STAR) events, which let members compete with presentations at statewide and national levels.
In the organization, Lopez said students will have the chance to give back to the community while learning leadership skills to help develop themselves.
We focus on careers, we focus on culinary, we focus on children and families, so there’s a lot of things that FCCLA does,” she said. “It really encompasses the family and consumer science department, but we take it to the state and national level.”
In order to restart the chapter, Lopez had to contact the FCCLA state advisor, who sent her the information to get started.
“Our Fremont Public Schools administration was all on-board, and so we’re super appreciative of that,” she said.
FHS freshman Mercedes Booze and junior Oscar Avila both heard about FCCLA from Lopez, who they had as teachers.
“I was just really excited about the competitive part of it, about talking about what’s important to us,” Booze said. “And then of course, volunteering is also very interesting.”
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Avila said he was looking forward to working within the community with FCCLA.
“Right now, we’re doing fundraisers, but in the future, we’re going to be helping so many other places, like maybe infants and retirement homes and everything,” he said.
Currently, FCCLA is meeting informally to help the chapter raise money.
“We’re planning on doing meetings once a month after school,” Avila said. “Right now, this is just the fundraising piece, so we’re after school helping out.”
In the future, Lopez said she wants the students to take part in STAR events that FCCLA holds.
“We’re not going to actually participate in the event, but we’re going to go help and be coordinators,” she said. “We’re going to be leaders in order to help out other schools at the state event, and hopefully next year, we would compete.”
Other future plans for FCCLA include an Adopt-a-Highway, a car wash fundraiser and reaching out to private and public entities for community service, Lopez said.
“I’m looking forward to learning about Fremont and the community and learning about the real world by helping out people,” Booze said.
Both Booze and Avila said that they loved working with their fellow FCCLA members, even if it was just for fundraising.
“These are amazing people,” Avila said. “They are really nice, they have great personality and I really like working with them.”
Like Booze, Avila said he as looking forward to taking part in competitions.
“I think that will be interesting for me because it’s a whole different perspective of what people might think about something,” he said.
Lopez said she wants the students to learn how to take the initiative through FCCLA, which she has already seen with the strawberry decorations.