Competition season finally arrives for FCCLA

By Kiley Walsh

Personal childcare, a FCCLA project option for the regionals competition on Feb. 11, features children making crafts.
Personal childcare, a FCCLA project option for the regionals competition on Feb. 11, features children making crafts.

Staff Writer
When it comes to the month of February, Prospect’s FCCLA club is more Cake Boss than Cupid.
FCCLA, otherwise known as Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America, “is basically home economics,” junior and club president Lauren DeCant said.
The club will be competing in regionals on Feb. 11 at the College of Lake County.  Out of several different options, they can choose to compete with a project on cake decorating, child care, food creating, fashion construction and more.
After completing their project, they give a speech on “basically everything about how you got to the finished project.”
Although participants get judged on your speech, DeCant believes that the actual project is the club’s strongest aspect “because everyone at the beginning stages are all like, ‘I don’t know what to do’ and ‘What project should I choose? But then when competition comes around, everyone does really well. The projects are really creative and really well planned out,” she said.
Freshman Samantha Kestler chose her project based on how much time she would have to work on it and ended up doing it on public speaking.
“It’s my first competition and I really don’t know what to expect,” she said, “but I guess that if I’m happy when I walk out of the room, then I’ll hopefully get a high score.”
In order to be awarded gold, you must score from 100-90 points. Silver is 89-80 and bronze is 79 and below.
DeCant said many students have won the most outstanding award in their particular events, and most from Prospect don’t get anything less than silver.
The most outstanding award is given to the highest scoring competitor in that section.

In order to advance to nationals, they must receive the most outstanding award at both regionals and state.

At last year’s regional competition, DeCant was awarded gold, but she just barely missed the most outstanding award to go to nationals.
Although she has done fashion construction the past two years, DeCant is running for state officer, which is a competition in itself.
Instead of producing a home economic project like everyone else, she is composing a speech to present to all the competing schools.  Her speech is used to convince the other schools to give their one of two votes to her.
The top candidates for state officer advance to nationals, so in order for DeCant to go for her first time, she must receive enough votes to make the top seven candidates.
Even though she will be talking in front of hundreds of people, DeCant said that nerves are not a problem for her.
“I kind of feel in my element [when presenting],” she said.
While DeCant doesn’t shy from a speech, she said, “Newer members definitely are more nervous.”
Kestler said in some ways she’s nervous because her project isn’t mainly being scored on criteria like others’.  She is mainly being scored on how she presents herself and her project.

But DeCant said that one reason she is not nervous is because of experience.
“I think being in it for as long as I have been definitely helps with the presentations,” she said.
DeCant, as a competitor, is setting her goal to have her speech go well, so that by state it will be perfect.
But DeCant, the club president, is only wishing to have everyone finish their projects on time.
“Having everyone compete to their best ability is all I can ask for,” DeCant said.