ANAHEIM, Calif. | Two Lehigh Career & Technical Institute students struck gold this month in California at the FCCLA National Leadership Conference.
Gabrielle Howorth, an Emmaus High School junior in LCTI’s Culinary Arts program, earned a gold medal in Food Innovations. The 16-year-old was one of 37 entries in the July 1 event and had to score 90 or better to win gold.
Yohanna Arias Rodriguez, a William Allen High School junior in LCTI’s Commercial Baking program, earned a gold medal in Illustrated Talk. The 15-year-old was one of 35 entries in the July 2 event and had to score 90 or better to win gold.
Howorth and Arias Rodriguez were among 4,700 competitors gathered June 30 through July 4 in Anaheim to participate in STAR (Students Taking Action with Recognition) events at the annual conference. They qualified for nationals by winning silver medals this spring at the Pennsylvania FCCLA State Leadership Conference in Silver Springs.
STAR events recognize FCCLA members for their proficiency and achievement in chapter and individual projects, leadership skills and career preparation. They’re designed to support student development of knowledge and skills by enhancing the classroom experience and complementing career pathway initiatives.
LCTI’s FCCLA advisers, Commercial Baking teacher Jan Lucas and Early Care & Education of Young Children teacher Jennifer Jones, said Howorth and Arias Rodriguez’s hard work and dedication led to strong performances under pressure.
“Our categories are some of the hardest and most competitive, so we’re really proud of the result from our first-time national leadership conference attendees,” Jones said.
More than 8,700 people gathered for the conference, which along with to competitive events, featured leadership training, nationally renown speakers, networking and opportunities to explore colleges and careers.
FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) is a national student organization that helps young men and women become leaders and address important personal, family, work and societal issues through family and consumer sciences education. FCCLA has over 175,000 members and more than 5,300 chapters from 50 state associations, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
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