A Look Inside the Lives of the National Executive Council
By 2015-2016 National Executive Council
Being a national officer isn’t just about standing on stage and looking great in our blazers. As national officers, we live very busy and exciting lives! Take a peek “Inside the Red Jacket” and into each of our lives outside of FCCLA.
Stephanie Zhang Outside of FCCLA, I really love to spend time with friends and family, especially since I will be leaving them in just a few months. I am an extremely adventurous person, so going out on a hike, eating at a restaurant, shopping at the mall, or making a bonfire with the people I love is something I always enjoy. Also, I try to go to the gym at least five times a week because fitness and health are really important to me! Recently, I’ve started to read again, and it’s amazing to just relax and pick up a book in good weather. The best part about being a national officer is definitely having the opportunity to network with students all across the nation from all different walks of life. It’s been such an honor to meet so many passionate leaders who love this organization as well, and they have impacted my life in ways unimaginable.
Monica Jones I enjoy being social and just hanging out. My life outside of FCCLA consists of my three younger siblings and spending as much time with them as possible. I enjoy spending time with my friends and watching as much Netflix as I can squeeze in. The best part about having FCCLA in my life 24/7 is that I get to see so many peers step out of their comfort zone and expand their leadership skills. I absolutely love having the opportunity to meet so many new people and learn about their lives.
Ally Monson Believe it or not, I do own more than a red blazer. There comes a time when the ascot and blazer are put aside and I’m just like you. When I’m not “rocking the red”, I’m usually rocking some over-the-top theatre costume, as I perform in my school’s play or compete in the SD One Act Competition. Otherwise, you may find me on the court cheering on my team as the head boys basketball statistician. This fall, you could find me underneath the Friday night lights supporting the Cyclones as a football cheerleader. I also serve as the 2015 SD Girl State Governor, so you may see me campaigning away this summer. When I put aside all my extracurricular activities, you will find me at the lake with my family, playing Frisbee with my dog Charlie, or reading Harry Potter in the hammock.
Nathon Taylor Doesn’t it feel nice to finally have the summer off from school? I don’t know about y’all, but it’s such a relief, plus it gives me more time to do the things that I love! Besides FCCLA, I love to cook, act, sing, and, of course, hang out with friends. Whenever I have some spare time, I love being with those that make me laugh. This past year has been amazing as a national officer, and the best thing has certainly been the friendships I have made. I’m not sure what I would do without my nine best friends, the rest of the National Executive Council.
Makayla Hendricks Let’s be real. FCCLA is life! But there’s a whole lot more that I do in my life outside of FCCLA. I currently own and operate Off The Frame Photography and spend a lot of my time taking pictures of clients and editing those pictures. I also work two jobs and have an internship in social media marketing. I work with parks and rec (yes, like the show) and thoroughly enjoy working with children to teach and run sports programs! I’m a movie fanatic, so I LOVE seeing movies in the theater and watching movies at home. The best part of being a national officer for me has been the opportunity to meet so many wonderful members. I’ve enjoyed sharing my passion with all of you and being inspired by your actions!
Raniel Mendoza When I’m not sporting the red blazer, you can find me working on handmade cards or hanging out with friends trying to find new food spots around town. Recently, we came across an awesome Peruvian restaurant that serves some of the best chicken. Also, I love binge-Netflixing episodes of Grey’s Anatomy and Friends. My favorite part of being a national officer has been meeting different people from all over the nation, finding out what they’re passionate about, and how FCCLA has helped them develop their interests and leadership skills. It’s always refreshing to hear how the organization I get to serve has impacted so many people.
Garrett Christiaens Who am I? I am a Harry Potter nerd, a Taylor Swift fanatic, and a free-spirited, dreaming Birkenstock-wearing hippie. I grew up in a small town in the middle of nowhere. We have one stoplight, and it doesn’t even change colors. It just blinks. I wouldn’t have wanted to grow up anywhere else. I was raised in a big, loud family with big personalities. I grew up jamming to old 80’s music, watching Disney movies, and dreaming all day in my backyard. My passion has always been for film, television, plays, and books. I consider myself a writer at heart. My drama club has performed and produced two of my published comedies. Next year, I will be attending Marquette University to major in digital media, so I can produce, direct, and write television/news programs and films. My year as a national officer has been incredible. My favorite part of it all was seeing how FCCLA works from the inside, meeting and networking with members, and time with my officer team.
Rohit Iyer Outside of FCCLA, I’m also the captain of my school’s golf team; I’ve been playing for almost 14 years, and it’s a huge part of my life. I work as a caddy at a local country club on the weekends, so when it’s warm, I’m out on the course almost all day! I really enjoy exercising and fitness. Going on walks and runs with my dog Max (he’s a schnauzer poodle mix = schnoodle!) is one of my favorite things to do, too. Other than that, I love hanging out with my friends and making new memories before we all go off to college soon!
Josh Sorbe I indulge myself with Hy-Vee Chinese food at least once a week. I take great pride in referencing random song lyrics, movie quotes, and GIFs in daily conversation. It’s SO fetch. I actually really like to argue with people – at the national debate tournament, during discussions, and even with my adviser. Of course, it’s diplomatic and kind, but discussion and friendly argumentation helps foster good ideas. I can honestly say my favorite part of being a national officer is the trust people have in you. They trust your ability to get work done and do so for 155,000 other people. How many 18-year-olds can say that!?
Gabi Cutruzzula Outside of FCCLA, I am a cheerleader and play basketball for my high school. I am also the student council president, class president, and a member of our school choir! I also was selected as a NOYS (National Organization for Youth Safety) Youth Team Leader and worked on various distracted driving projects throughout the year. Recently, I began a job as a Starbucks barista! I absolutely love being a national officer because through my office I am able to give back to the organization that has given me everything.
2015-2016 National Executive Council