My FCCLA Story

By Uriel Martinez, VP of Membership

I joined FCCLA when I was in the 6th grade. When I started FCCLA, you could say I was this “no one”. I was a shy and scared young boy and was always getting bullied and made fun of by my peers.

One day, I saw these 3 students standing in the hall promoting this organization called FCCLA. I walked over to the stand and grabbed the application and some extra information. I came back the next day and turned in my membership dues. I have continually been surprised at what $15 can do!

That same year, I attended the 2012 Georgia FCCLA State Leadership Conference and competed in the Parliamentary Procedure STAR Event. Unfortunately, I did not advance to nationals in Orlando, FL, that year. However, since that was my first FCCLA event, I was inspired by the energy at the opening session at my state conference and all those red coats on stage. I was determined to come back the next year.

After 3 years of middle school FCCLA, my final trip was to the 2014 National Leadership Conference in San Antonio, TX. Why final? Because the next year I was moving to a private school I had been accepted to. I was sad to see three years of leadership and excitement come to an end.

So, it was the first day of private school, and I was determined to start an FCCLA chapter (yep, that’s how much I love FCCLA). I received promotional materials, support from my current adviser Mrs. Moore, and support from other classmates. I was excited to start this chapter and hopefully stand on that 50ft stage at state conference. Then, just days later, I received news that the chapter could not be established due to lack of funding. I was totally devastated. After two weeks, I decided to go back to my local high school with an FCCLA chapter. Yes, I withdrew from the private school and went back to my previous school so I could be in FCCLA.

I joined at my local high school just in time to place my application for state office. I ran for state office and, unfortunately, I didn’t make it. I didn’t give up and ran for a region office. I got regional office, and then I set a goal to run for national office the next year. I set a goal, formed a plan, and acted. You’ll be surprised how the FCCLA Planning Process comes in handy!

After 6 years of hard work and dedication to FCCLA, look where I stand now. I have one of the highest positions a member can hold, serving with 9 other student members on the National Executive Council.

Every time I look back to my 6th-grade self and compare that person to the person I am now, I can easily see that I have grown into this extraordinary leader who is no longer shy and scared to speak up. I have met people from all over the USA through all the networking this organization has provided. I have created friendships and memories that will last a lifetime.

I have had a fantastic FCCLA journey, and I hope that you have, too!

Uriel Martinez, VP of Membership

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