By: Nuris I. Binett, FCCLA, Advisor
Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher
John I. Smith K-8 Center
Carla Mavares and Rhiana Suarez, who are former students of Doral Middle School in Doral, Florida, received top honors and GOLD medals for their participation in the S.T.A.R. (Students Taking Action with Recognition) Events at Family, Career and Community Leaders of America’s (FCCLA) 2013 National Leadership Meeting recently held in Nashville, Tennessee.
Carla Mavares, who will be attending Design and Architecture Senior High School, and Rhiana Suarez, who will be attending Ronald Reagan Senior School, and are respectively the daughters of Reynaldo and Solange Mavares, and Nelsy and Jose Suarez, received Gold medals in the following competitive events: Recycle and Redesign and Focus on Children. Their Gold medals were presented at a recognition session honoring all participants at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center on Thursday, July 11, 2013. In attendance were more than 7,000 Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) members, advisors, alumni, and guests from across the country that convene in Nashville, Tennessee, from July 7-11 for FCCLA’s 2013 National Leadership Conference.
This conference is themed “Discover Your Voice” and challenges participants to confront the issues youth are facing today by gaining the necessary skills through leadership development and competitive events. Carla, a S.T.A.R. participant in the Recycle and Redesign competitive event, applied recycle and redesign skills learned in Family and Consumer Sciences courses and created a display using a sample of her skills. Carla selected used fashion, home, and other post-consumer items to recycle into a new product. She then demonstrated this product to her peers at Doral Middle and the community members. Her project entitled, “Creating a New World One Accessory at a Time,” outlined the programs and services provided for the community. Rhiana, a S.T.A.R. participant, was involved in the Focus on Children competitive event that recognizes participants who use Family and Consumer Sciences skills to plan and conduct a child development project that has a positive impact on children and the community. Rhiana’s project entitled, “Do Not Sink, FLOAT!” focused on bullying, and was the result of a considerable amount of research she conducted on an issue that is considered serious and has a personal impact on families and communities.
“Creating this project taught us a great deal about organizing and presenting information to others and we learned that even we can make a difference,” they said. “We were able to travel and connect with other FCCLA members from all over the country, and this provided us with an opportunity for personal development and preparation for adult life.”
Nuris I. Binett, John I. Smith K-8 Center, Family and Consumer Sciences teacher and advisor for the FCCLA Blue Dolphins chapter at former Doral Middle School, accompanied Carla and Rhiana to the FCCLA National Leadership Meetings. The FCCLA’s S.T.A.R. Events program is based on the belief that every student is a winner.
Throughout the 13 years at Doral Middle School, the FCCLA members tackle issues such as teen violence, traffic safety, family issues, career exploration, and much more. FCCLA through Family and Consumer Sciences education at Doral Middle enriches students learning, improves self-esteem, and serves students with a range of ability levels, economic situations, and cultural influences. It is unique among youth organizations because it is the only career and technical in-school student organization with family as its central focus. Participation in national programs and chapter activities helps members become strong leaders in their families, careers, and communities.
FCCLA has over 200,000 members and over 6,500 chapters from 50 state associations, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The organization has involved more than ten million students since its founding in 1945.