By Team iCEV on June 20, 2019 at 8:13 AM
Each year, Family, Career and Community Leaders Association (FCCLA) members from across Texas compete in various career and professional development contests at the FCCLA Students Taking Action with Recognition (STAR) event. As an advocate for Career and Technical Education, FCCLA strives to prepare students for future careers through leadership development and personal growth. The contests at the STAR event are designed to facilitate the development of lifelong skills, such as character development, creative and critical thinking, interpersonal communication, practical knowledge and career preparation.
iCEV was privileged to have the opportunity to sponsor scholarships to four FCCLA STAR event winners earlier this spring. Winners of the Occupational and Senior divisions in the Job Interview and Career Investigation contests were awarded a scholarship as recognition of their achievements. Macie Cole, winner of the Occupational Division in the Career Investigation contest, was recently featured in one of our iCEV blog posts.
The Job Interview contest is designed to prepare students for the job search process. In the contest, participants must develop a portfolio, participate in an interview and effectively communicate a personal understanding of job requirements. Ashley Owens was awarded first place in the Occupational Division of the Job Interview contest.
This fall, Ashley will be a senior at Keller High School. Along with her involvement in FCCLA, Ashley is active in many other clubs and teams, including National Honor Society (NHS), National Technical Honor Society (NTHS), the Texas Association of Future Educators (TAFE) and the Keller High School drill team. After taking multiple family and consumer sciences courses, Ashley was encouraged to join FCCLA by one of her teachers during her sophomore year.
Shelly Waggoner, FCCLA Advisor at Keller High School, offered high praise in regard to Ashley.
“She is one of the most committed students I have ever seen. She strives for perfection in her classwork, in FCCLA and on our drill team. She shows leadership in and out of the classroom,” said Waggoner.
Ashley was encouraged to compete in the Job Interview contest by a friend who had found her own success in the contest, advancing all the way to the national level the previous year. As Ashley started to work on her portfolio, she found a passion for the contest. Not only did she relish in the preparation, she also saw the value her efforts would have throughout her professional career.
“Professionally, I know what a job interview is like and what the appropriate attire is. I know that while in an interview, you have to stay true to yourself and be confident in what you are saying to the interviewers. You should always have good eye-contact, posture and be prepared to think quickly on your feet. I feel like competing in Job Interview has given me practice for any future interviews I will have. Personally, I have gained leadership skills, communication skills and a better understanding of myself. Competing in Job Interview has brought me out of my comfort zone and has made me into a more confident person,” Ashely said.
While Ashley may exude confidence now, she has not always been comfortable when it came to public speaking or large social settings. She credits FCCLA with instilling her with self-confidence and improving her public speaking and social skills.
“FCCLA has impacted me in so many ways and has shaped me into the person that I am today. I used to be quiet and was not the best when it came to public speaking. But now, I have gained so much more confidence in speaking to others. It has also helped me become an even better leader in my community. It has brought me friendships with fellow classmates and teachers. Without FCCLA, I do not know if I would have ever stepped out of my comfort zone,” said Ashely.
At the end of June, Ashley and Waggoner will travel to Anaheim, CA for the FCCLA National Conference where Ashley will compete in the Job Interview contest at the national level. After her senior year at Keller High School, Ashley plans to study special education at Clemson University in South Carolina.
Team iCEV is proud to sponsor scholarships for outstanding students like Ashely and her fellow division winners. We wish her luck as she competes at the FCCLA National Conference and in her future educational and career endeavors.
Look out for more spotlights featuring other contest winners in the coming weeks.