Madison Wheeler and Bridget Wilhite of Cherokee, Oklahoma are two of 47 contenders vying for a position on the 10-person 2020-2021 state officer team of the Oklahoma CareerTech Family, Career and Community Leaders of America student organization. 

Family and Consumer Sciences Education, and its affiliated student organization FCCLA, are integral components in the CareerTech system. This national student organization helps young men and women become leaders and address important personal, family, work, and societal issues. More than 10,000 students on Oklahoma high school and technology center campuses are members of FCCLA. 

Wheeler, a junior at Cherokee High School, is the daughter of Claudia Wheeler. Wilhite, also a junior at Cherokee High School, is the daughter of Brian and Amber Wilhite. 

January 28 kicks off the traditional round of interviews that ultimately determine the final slate for state FCCLA officer elections held on April 2 at the state convention in Oklahoma City, according to Denise Morris, state FCCLA advisor. 

“Students will take a test over FCCLA facts, give a one-minute speech and interview within their regions,” Morris said. “If they are chosen to go on to the second round of interviews, they will interview again with the general interview committee. The committee will place the final names on the ballot.” 

State officer team members are responsible for duties such as planning and conducting workshops, installing district officers, and leading chapter officer training. The officer team also plans and presides over state convention, works with members to increase membership and helps to raise awareness of FCCLA in the state. 

“Throughout the year, FCCLA members tackle issues such as teen violence prevention, traffic safety, family issues, career exploration, and much more,” Morris said. “FCCLA programs enrich student learning, improve self-esteem, and serve students with a range of ability levels, economic situations, and cultural influences.” 

On a national level, FCCLA has more than 155,000 members and nearly 5,300 chapters from 50 state associations, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The organization has involved more than 10 million youth since its founding in 1945. 

“FCCLA is unique among youth organizations because its programs are planned and run by members,” Morris said. “It is the only CareerTech student organization with family as its central focus. Participation in national programs and chapter activities helps members become strong leaders in their families, careers, and communities.” 

FCCLA is one of seven CareerTech student organizations affiliated with CareerTech programs. The other six include FFA and Agricultural Education, DECA and Marketing Education, HOSA and Health Careers Education, Business Professionals of America and Business and Information Technology Education, Technology Student Association and Technology Engineering, and SkillsUSA and Trade and Industry Education. 

For more information about FCCLA, e-mail Denise Morris at denise.morris@careertech.ok.gov or call 405-743-5467. For more information about CareerTech student organizations, visit www.okcareertech.org/main/students.htm.