Gazebo Gazette

The 2023 FCCLA National Leadership Conference (NLC) took place in Denver, CO from July 2-6, drawing more than 7,900 students, educators, and guests from across the nation. This gathering provided a valuable platform for attendees to expand their leadership skills, sharpen their talents, explore career pathways, and listen to inspiring speakers. 

Aria Grady was chosen through a rigorous application process to serve as one of ten content creators and worked behind the scenes with FCCLA national staff to create content from the conference throughout the week.  She conducted interviews, made videos and edited it all to create one of a kind content to be used throughout the next year to promote FCCLA and the national leadership conference.

At the heart of the conference were the highly anticipated Students Taking Action with Recognition (STAR) Events.

Over 4,300 FCCLA members competed in these events, where they were recognized for their proficiency and achievement in chapter and individual projects, leadership skills, and career preparation. The collaboration between youth and adults in managing the events and evaluating participants allowed students to develop real-world skills and gain valuable insights.

STAR Events play a pivotal role in supporting student development by enhancing their classroom experience and guiding them towards successful career pathways.

With more than 30 events to choose from, participants have the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and abilities by actively addressing important issues concerning families, careers, or communities. By researching the topic and implementing projects to advocate for positive change, students acquire valuable skills and industry insights needed to thrive in the 21st century.

Aria Grady, Breanna Huguet, Chloe Neciase and Callie Smith proudly represented Pass Christian High School at the FCCLA National Leadership Conference in Denver, CO.

Aria Grady competed in the Promote and Publicize STAR Event and earned a silver medal, Breanna Huguet competed in the Food Innovation Star Event and achieved a silver medal and Chloe Necaise and Callie Smith competed in the Event Management Star Event and achieved a remarkable Gold medal and placed in the top ten in nation for their outstanding project and presentation.

The students’ projects each took place in our community and exemplifies their dedication, creativity, and commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of others. Their accomplishment at the national level is a testament to their hard work, teamwork, and unwavering passion.

During the conference Pass Christian High School won its first ever FCCLA National Championship by being named the overall winner for the chapter’s Career Connection project at the FCCLA National Convention in Denver, Colorado.

Pass Christian FCCLA competed against 66 other high schools across America for the top prize. The award was announced Monday in front of over 8,000 students, faculty, and industry professionals. Pass Christian High School student Callie Smith accepted the award on behalf of the chapter. 

This year’s winning project, called “Creating Connections”, involved students selecting careers of their choice and reaching out to professionals in the chosen career fields to invite them as guest speakers to their Family and Consumer Science classes and FCCLA meetings. Each professional involved became a new long-term partner and mentor to the chapter.

The group publicized the project on their local school news, school district newsletter, school/district Facebook pages, the local community newspaper and on local television.

Goals of the project included providing real-world career examples to students, providing a connection between students and community leaders, bringing community leaders into the school, creating a speaker’s bureau, and promoting FCCLA to current and potential members as well as the community as a whole.

Career Connections is a national peer education initiative that guides students to develop, plan, carry out, and evaluate projects that help to develop and practice career-ready skills.  Students shared their project with other schools from across the nation at the conferences Project Showcase.

Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) is a dynamic and effective student-led nation-based organization supporting youth on their journey to become the leaders of tomorrow and helping them address important personal, family, work, and societal issues through Family and Consumer Sciences education. FCCLA has over 237,000 members and more than 5,100 chapters across the nation.

For more information on FCCLA, please contact Jennifer Frye at 228-452-2008 or