My FCCLA Story

By Dedan McFadden, VP of Programs

My story begins with a simple push. Like many before me, my journey started when I was pushed to find a leadership position in my school. I was a naive, but ambitious sixth grader. At this moment in my life, I felt like I had the entire world at my fingertips. Nevertheless, I was blind to the world outside of my community and I had never experienced failure. My determination to become “successful” is what pushed me to join FCCLA, but I quickly realized that FCCLA had so much more to offer than success. FCCLA can be whatever you need it to be. FCCLA provides an outlet to serve your community, a place to harness your competitive spirit, and a family.

My next push came a little later. My freshman year in high school brought along new ambitions. I attended the National Leadership Conference in San Antonio that summer, and my life changed forever. I no longer had to search for my next goal, because, for the first time in my life, it was presented on a platter (or stage in my case) and I knew that it was my destiny to become a national officer. The task seemed so complex at first and I had my doubts, but, somehow, I knew that I would accomplish my goal.

My final push came in the spring of my sophomore year when I sat down with my adviser and discussed my possibilities. The decision was easy. It was go big or go home and I decided to run and represent Georgia as a national officer candidate. This experience brought along many firsts and a new perspective on leadership. My first time on stage and my first interview were surely moments that I will never forget. With the help of my advisers and my intense passion for FCCLA, I was elected to the National Executive Council. My letter drop was, so far, the most formative moment in my life. I felt like everything was finally falling into place.

My year on the National Executive Council was a magnificent journey full of excitement and wonder. As my term comes to a close, I am not sorrowful. Instead, I am joyful because I learned more about myself and became a greater person in the process.

Members, I challenge you to push yourself towards greatness. Do not hesitate to strive for your dreams. If you want something, take it and never regret your choice. You will find success and even yourself in the process. Achievement is one of the most rewarding feelings in life and it will leave you begging for more. Be a great family member. Be a great community member. Be a great leader.

Dedan McFadden, VP of Programs

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