Finding My Passion Through FCCLA
By Mia Kegley, Nebraska FCCLA President
It’s normal for students to enter high school without a clue of what they want to do after high school. It’s also not uncommon for seniors to graduate high school without a plan for post-secondary education or for a career. Being a member of FCCLA helps us, students, to create goals and plans for our future, and I am so proud to say that FCCLA has given me the ability to find my passion.
When I joined FCCLA as a freshman, I had the vague goal that I wanted to attend Stanford University and help people, but I didn’t know how to achieve that or what I would actually want to do for a career. At this time, I was a very shy person, and it was hard for me to take risks; however, my advisers saw the potential in me, so they continued to involve me in our chapter’s projects and events. It was their motivation that urged me to become more involved. I was encouraged to attend conferences, compete in STAR Events, and run for leadership offices. Because of all of these developmental activities, I grew as a person and as a leader.
Throughout the last four years, my favorite things have evolved to include talking with new people, working to make a change, and inspiring younger members. This is something that I never would have enjoyed, but FCCLA gave me my voice. The voice that I have developed is one that allows me to stand up for others and make a positive difference in today’s society. This passion that I have found has moved me to pursue a career in Government Administration: I hope to become a Foreign Service Officer for the U.S. Department of State. Without the skills that I’ve gained in FCCLA, I would not be as ready as I am today to go out and reach my career goal.
There is not a single moment that has wholly prepared me for this; my entire time in “The Ultimate Leadership Experience” has provided me with a repertoire of opportunities and experiences to become career ready. There are two occurrences, however, that stick out as direct influencers in my choice: being elected the Nebraska FCCLA President, and attending the Capitol Leadership Conference. As a state officer, I can listen to my members and make a change; moreover, I’ve learned so many amazing skills about working with others and understanding their points of view to create positive differences. During the Capitol Leadership Conference, I was given the responsibility to advocate for FCS and FCCLA with Nebraska representatives. It was so empowering for me to meet with them because it gave me the confidence that I can truly work in Government Administration.
I will graduate in a few months, and I will make the transition from being a member of FCCLA to a member of Alumni & Associates. While this saddens me, I know that this organization has given me its all, and I am prepared to give back to it. Because of the investment that FCCLA made in me, I know that I’ve made the right choice to double major in anthropology and political science at Stanford University and pursue a career within the U.S. Government. I encourage all of my peers in FCCLA to make the most out of this amazing opportunity! There are many paths that you can take on the road of life, and FCCLA can inspire you to create goals and plans as you move on towards post-secondary education and the workforce.
Mia Kegley, Nebraska FCCLA President