FCCLA teens busy with service projects and leadership events

Devine FCCLA students at SeaWorld are: Back row-Region Officer Amy Bailey, Morgan Boydell, Miranda Grubb, Madison Level, Kylee Nixon, Andrea Sanchez, Karma Herring, Caitlyn Breiten, Kaitlyn Morales, Josette Villanueva, Bailey Oropeza, Madison Cumpian, and Region Officer Charlize Benavides. In the Front row are: Danelly Rodriguez, Jasmine De La Torre, Barbara Merlo, Kelli Geyer, Karsen Brown, Jenysse Good, Kristina Moralez, Hunter Moss.

The Devine High School Family, Career and Community Leaders of America has had a very busy month. Students in the chapter have started community service projects and their STAR event projects while also holding a leadership conference for other area schools.
Starting September 30, Juniors Caitlyn Breiten and JoJo Villanueva began to spread awareness to classmates about the dangers of screen addiction. On September 30th the girls gave presentations on the dangers of overusing phones, computers and televisions to 111 students in PHS, Interpersonal Studies and Family and Community Service classes at the high school. Caitlyn and JoJo were able to collect data on how much time students thought they spent on their phones compared to the actual amount. They will return to the classes later in the year to see if the numbers have decreased now that the kids are aware of how much time they waste on their phones. Most students were shocked by their times and even put limits on some of the apps to help reduce their time on them. The girls also presented at the middle school on October 25 to inform the students of the same dangers.
Devine FCCLA members volunteered to create a family fun night booth at the National Night Out event on October 1. The chapter had five stations that allowed kids of all ages to participate in family fun! Stations included: Jump Rope, Angry Bird Bean Bag Game, Soccer, Basketball, and Bump and Bounce. Fourteen FCCLA members volunteered to help make the booth a success.
Chapter members Ana Escoto and Lupita Hernandez have chosen to spread awareness about fostering and adopting children. Having been both a foster child and now an adopted member into a family, this project is very personal for Lupita. The girls hope to help others in their community learn more about the processes of both fostering and adopting along with partnering with agencies to collect the most needed items for them. Ana and Lupita handed out 65 pamphlets at National Night Out to adults to inform them about their project, and on October 8th and 11th, the girls presented information to 208 students in English and PHS classes to help spread awareness on their campus. The girls will also be making a presentation in early November at the middle school and on November 19 at the Devine City Council meeting.
Devine FCCLA hosted its Fall Leadership Conference October 9 at SeaWorld San Antonio. Region V Officers Amy Bailey and Charlize Benavidez led sessions over Spotlight on Projects plus Running for Officer and Community Service, respectively. Other chapter members led sessions, as well: Caitlyn Breiten and JoJo Villanueva discussed STAR Events and Kelli Geyer and Karma Herring led leadership games. The conference sessions were held in the morning with 12 schools attending and thirty nine students taking FCSA tests. After lunch students were allowed to feed the sea lions and seals while learning more about SeaWorld’s Rescue and Recovery program. Then the 146 members were able to choose from 10 career paths to shadow for the afternoon and were broken into groups. In these sessions students were able to see different careers in FACS such as Fashion Design, Culinary, Education, Hospitality, etc… and ask questions while getting a behind-the-scenes look at each area of the park.
Did you know that driving while texting is 6 times more likely to cause a crash than driving while drunk? Sophomores Karma Herring and Kelli Geyer have begun raising awareness on the high school campus about the dangers of driving distracted due to texting. The girls presented facts, videos and photographs about previous crashes to 70 students from 5 classes on October 15. They will be presenting to other classes later in the month along with handing out flyers and bringing a distracted driving simulator to the campus for students to use. Karma and Kelli also plan to present to the local Lions Club to extend their project into the community.
On October 18 Family and Community Services class members from 8th period decorated the front hall of the school purple to promote awareness of domestic abuse. Group members Absedy Perez, Cutter Howard and FCCLA members and group members Laisha Gutierrez and Carla Torres researched the problem and ways to combat it. They put up streamers, facts and a large poster for students to sign pledging to be aware of the signs of abuse or to not be a part of it. The group hopes to shine a light on this problem and help victims feel empowered enough to tell someone and break free from it.
The chapter officers spoke to the Ciavarra Elementary and Devine Intermediate school children on the morning of October 21 for the Red Ribbon Week Kickoff Rally. Along with the students, the football stadium was filled with band members, cheerleaders, teachers, administrators, Central Office administrators and parents. Overall Caitlyn Breiten, Josette Villanueva, Charlize Benavides and Amy Bailey talked about the dangers of drugs and the importance of being involved in school organizations and activities such as FCCLA to 1,000 people!
On October 25 two STAR event teams spoke at the middle school about the dangers of addiction and JUULs. Freshman Victoria Nunez will competing with her project on the dangers of addiction (alcohol, nicotine, drugs, etc…) while juniors Andrea Sanchez, Jessenia Phillipi and Analea Brooks presented their information for their project tilted “No JUUL in School” which warns of the dangers that are being traced to e-cigarettes and other types of smokeless tobacco. The girls presented Power Points with facts, pictures and warnings to the middle school students with the hopes that if they are aware now, they will not ever start the dangerous addictive style of smoking.
FCCLA members Charlize Benavides, Lupita Hernandez, Ana Escoto, and Malachi Jackson along with Family and Community Services class members Alyssa White and Connie Hardcastle began their project called Unify Devine in September. They met with the principals of the elementary and intermediate schools to create a project that will help the parents and schools partner together with fun monthly projects. The first activity was held October 29 at the intermediate school cafeteria and was called Painting Pumpkins. The group’s tag line was, “You bring the pumpkin, we bring the paint.” Fifty kids and parents came to the event to paint their pumpkins to decorate their porches. The group had eight other FCCLA members come help paint and offer cookies and punch to all to make it a more enjoyable event.
Overall it has been one busy month for the Devine FCCLA chapter. There will be many more rewarding community service projects and presentations to come throughout the year!