Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America

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  • Students gathered in the front of Miami Dade’s North Campus to compete in FCCLA.

Patricia Passwaters, Executive Editor

Each year, the Design, Education, and Hospitality Academy; which consists of Fashion, Culinary, and childcare; compete in the FCCLA (Family, Career, and Community leaders of America) Contests.

This year the competition was held on December 5th at Miami Dade North Campus where Gables entered eight different categories: Hospitality & Tourism/Recreation, Interior Design, Recycle & Redesign, Fashion Construction, Fashion Design, Early Childhood star event, and Decorative Food Centerpiece.

FCCLA’s motto, “Toward New Horizons,” represents the personal growth and leadership development in the different skills that build a community and the importance of improving those skills.

Senior Cindy Elias was one of the many students from Gables that participated in this event by entering the Interior Design Project category. FCCLA provided instructions on what they were looking for and what needed to be added, thus Elias, along with Elena Perez and Josuee Guevara began to design an apartment with an outside patio on the second floor.

“The judges judge based on how we present, how we structure our design by floor plan, perspectives, organization and budgets. This project allowed me to challenge myself and show people what I’m capable of doing; It has opened my eyes to what I want to study and become in the future,” Elias said after winning second place.

However unlike Elias, Senior Astrid Salinas, who entered the Recycle & Redesign category had a change of mind due to a rough start. Wanting to be creative and bizarre while promoting environmentalism, Salinas tried to create a shirt collar by using a Macy’s bag and Kit Kat wrappers, “I gave it my first test try, and I realized that the materials I used were not cooperating and so it became a total disaster.”

Dedicated to keep on going, Salinas then decided that her best bet would be recycling a pair of jeans into a simple shirt. After having used most of the jean material, she incorporated Sun maid Raisin flaps that contained environmental sayings as buttons.

“When I went to the competition, the judges were amazed at how great the recycled jean shirt came to be. They truly enjoyed it. It was something they were not used to seeing.”

As demonstrated above competitions varied from category to category, when it came to culinary, sophomore Antoinette Avila competed in the DecorativeFood Competition. The objective of this competition was to carve fruits and vegetables to make a centerpiece under 40 minutes while answering questions about the nutritional facts.

“I was really nervous. My Cantelope was extra ripe during the competition so it was too soft to cut and I was scared about it falling apart, but it held together long enough,” Avila said.

She was awarded first place on her garden centerpiece which consisted of  Cantelope, Blackberries, Alfalfa Sprouts, Water Sprouts, Radishes, Apples and Bell Peppers.

When asked if she entered the competition thinking she was going to win Avila said, ” Not at all. I was up against Mast Academy and he did Swan Lake. I definitely thought I lost. He was a senior and had competed in the competition before.”

Due to the persistence and dedication of these students they will be attending State Competitions held in Orlando this upcoming March.

“I am always proud of my students because competing in a competition is not easy. When I found out they won and we’re going to states I was ecstatic!  Now we will prefect their projects so that they can win States in March and they can compete in Nationals this upcoming July in Nashville! Please help me congratulate the following students for competing and placing in FCCLA,”  Ms.Monzon (DEH Academy Leader) said.

1. Decorative Food Centerpiece: Antoinette Avila- gold metal– (States)

2. Culinary Arts: Alyssa Perez, Natalia Melian, Daniela Rodriguez- silver metal

3. Early Childhood Education: Tonee Roig-Perez- silver metal

4. Fashion Construction Senior Division: Maria Franco- gold metal– (States)

5. Fashion Construction- Occupational division: Codee Vogler- silver metal- (States)

6. Fashion Design- Occupational Division: Darling Ladron de Guevara- bronze metal- (States)

7. Hospitality and Tourism/ Recreation:  Diana Leyva, Alexandra Ortiz, Amanda Pou – bronze metal- (States)

8. Interior Design: Elena Perez, Cindy Elias, Josuee Guevara – silver metal –States

9. Recycle/ Redesign: Astrid Hurtarte- silver- (States)