Community Service at Core of FCCLA
The Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) is a non-profit, national organization for students that have an interest in Family & Consumer Sciences (FCS), volunteering, or a future vocational-based career. At W-L, the FCCLA serves as an extension of some FCS classes. The club’s members mainly focus on helping the school community through volunteer projects and helping themselves by learning practical skills they can use the rest of their lives. “Our goal is to have students enjoy the after school program so much, they join the class,” said Mrs. Jennifer Zimmerman, club sponsor and the Food & Fitness class teacher.
It is this sense of fun and community-building that keeps prior members regularly attending and attracts new members to the club. Naomi Waltengus, a senior, said, “FCCLA is something I’ve always done with my friends. It’s a nice environment to hang out and make different foods.”
This past fall, one major project included preparing a pre-game dinner for the Generals’ football teams. Recently, the club learned to make a spaghetti casserole lunch, which they served to school faculty and staff as a collaborative fundraiser. During many meetings, members learn practical cooking skills as well that they can use at home. “My favorite project so far was baking chocolate chip cookies for the holidays,” said Zxena Mannah, a sophomore.
However, learning to make and preparing food is just a small sample of the activities in which the club takes part. Earlier this May, an herb garden was constructed in the courtyard for use by Mrs. Zimmerman’s Food & Fitness class. The garden was designed and built by Washington-Lee sophomore Michael Gaines as part of his Eagle Scout project, with the help of Mrs. Nancy Striniste, a PTA member and W-L parent. “[Washington Lee] wanted something compact,” said Gaines, who has helped with other eco-projects at school, “so I created a spiral design. Mrs. Zimmerman’s classes told me what herbs they wanted, but I added some on my own to complete the garden.”
It is this sense of fun and community-building that keeps prior members regularly attending and attracts new members to the club. As Waltengus said, “I would recommend FCCLA because it’s really useful. I’ve learned a lot about foods and how to make it. I’ve tried a lot of recipes at home and they actually work!”
Interested in joining the club? Please see Mrs. Zimmerman or stop by an FCCLA meeting Thursdays after school in room 1318.
Pictured in front row: Anna Amar, Tuul Erdenebold, Ratila Chowdhury, Naomi Waltengus
Back row: Destiny Boyd, Brian Tran, Seim Michael, Au Nyoc (Andy) Huynh, Jorge Torrez, William Granados, Zxena Mannah, Karen Vallejos