By Randy Fogg
The Ledger Staff
MOUNDRIDGE – Brooke January and Kayla Frazer, officers for the Moundridge FCCLA (Family, Career, Community Leaders of America) chapter, helped to put the red in the red, white and blue at the 2016 National Leadership Conference, July 3-7, in San Diego, Calif.
January said there was a sea of red during the conference as many attendees were wearing their red FCCLA shirts.
“It was a really good learning experience,” January said. “I met a lot of new people from all across the U.S.”
January and Frazer were among the 8,500 students who attended the event. MHS FCCLA chapter adviser Connie Kaufman also went to the conference.
January attended the conference as the District G president. She said there are 12 districts in the state and District G includes McPherson, Canton-Galva, Goessel, Southeast of Saline and Burrton.
“The district presidents were able to get together three times,” January said. “We talked about how we could improve our memberships, grow our numbers.
“It was nice to see everybody,” she added.
January is also president of the Moundridge chapter. She will continue in the role in the upcoming school year.
The conference theme was “Empower Mepower.” January and Frazer earned their certificate of achievement for completing the leadership academy.
Kaufman said the workshops focused on developing leadership, employability, 21st century skill and helped students to recognize their personal growth efforts.
“Each session focused on specific skills needed for different environments where leadership is vital, from the home to the workplace,” Kaufman said. “They participated in sessions focusing on critical thinking and problem solving, decision making and risk taking, project management and vision and revision.”
January said the risk-taking workshop was “really entertaining.” Students were given a piece of candy and had an option of flipping a coin to determine whether they got another piece of candy or give back all the candy they had.
“I think people went out of their comfort zones to try it,” January said.
January said she was “cautious,” but did some risk taking.
“In the final decision, you need to risk what you have in order to move forward,” she said.
January also liked the critical thinking and problem-solving workshop. Students were given problems they had to work through.
“I felt it was good for me,” January said. “I can believe in myself.”
Kaufman volunteered as a room consultant for the STAR (Students Taking Action with Recognition) Event- Recycle and Redesign.
“It was a great learning experience and a good opportunity to see the projects that students have worked on through the year from across the United States,” Kaufman said.
Students were able to experience the San Diego area. The Moundridge teens were able to participate in a city tour, learning about the history of the area from Old Town to the beaches of Coronado.
Students were able to tour the U.S. warship – USS Midway.
“It was nice,” January said. “It was cool to see where they slept and ate and lived for a while.”
For the Fourth of July, January and Frazer joined 300 other Kansas delegates to tour the San Diego Bay.
January said they watched fireworks shot from four barges in the bay.
“The sky was lit up all around you,” she said. “It’s a lot different than what I do with my family every year.”
Kaufman said the trip went well.
“It was a great location to hold a conference with lots of educational sights and fun in the sun at the beaches,” Kaufman said. “I look forward to seeing how my students will use their ‘Mepower’ to empower other students in this upcoming school year.”