COUCH SCHOOL -- The Couch High School Future Career Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) were voted number one in the nation for their 2002 membership campaign. The organization received $1,500 for their efforts and were featured in the National FCCLA magazine, Teen Times.
FCCLA Advisor Teresa Holder was accompanied on the trip to Minneapolis, Minn., by FCCLA students Tricia Murdock, Beth Jones and Katie Lewis.
Couch School is a small rural Oregon County high school with only 131 students. Sixty-five of those students belong to the FCCLA chapter. The FCCLA organization at Couch School grew by 33 members last year alone. Because of this, the other chapters around the country selected the school for the 2002 Quest for the Best Award of Excellence.
"In such a small school, the same students are involved in all student activities, so our chapter leaders know every member can't do every chapter project. By offering FCCLA in class, after school and on the weekends the chapter provides a variety of ways members can be involved," Holder said in a recent interview.
The magazine Teen Times spoke with seniors Tasha Combs and Katie Lewis, as well as juniors Tricia Murdock and Jennifer Wrenfrow. Advisor Holder also helped provide information to the magazine. Holder said last year's chapter activities included a start-of-the year hayride, an angel tree project to provide gifts for less fortunate children, walking in a marathon to raise money for research of childhood illnesses and plenty of involvement in FCCLA STAR events in which 24 Couch FCCLA members participated at the state level last spring.
"People want to be a part of our chapter because of our projects and enthusiasm," said chapter president Tasha Wrenfrow. "With a bigger chapter, you get to do more because there are more people working on projects."
To attract members, chapter leaders displayed photos of past activities, promoted FCCLA during a school assembly and challenged existing members to recruit new members. They celebrated with a pizza party for the new members and those who recruited them. Lewis said she joined FCCLA year because it sounded like it was so much fun. "Tasha really spread the word about everything you get to do in FCCLA," she said. "She and the other chapter leaders made it sound great, and they were right."
"We have so much fun in FCCLA," says Combs. She has been a member since seventh grade. "But we also benefit a lot of people in the community as well as ourselves. FCCLA helps you become a stronger leader and prepare for the future."
"FCCLA has helped me learn more about my family and how to be a good parent someday," said Murdock "It has also prepared me for work. It can help you a lot in the future, and you have fun now."
"The best part of FCCLA is learning new things," said Lewis. "Everywhere I go with FCCLA, I learn something different, from speakers, from other members, from being in STAR events. Members should get as involved as possible. There's so much you can experience through FCCLA."
Jennifer agreed, "Try everything you can in FCCLA," she advised. "If things don't turn out perfectly, don't look back. Keep on going to reach your goals."
Holder said the Couch High School FCCLA Chapter builds their membership with enthusiasm and involvement.