FCCLA To Host Youth Rally on Capitol Hill
Event will draw thousands to celebrate organization’s 70th anniversary and advocate for FCS education
Washington, DC – Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) and more than 5,000 of its student members will gather for a rally this morning on Capitol Hill for the dual purpose of celebrating the organization’s 70th anniversary and advocating for strong Family and Consumer Sciences education in schools.
Themed “70 Years Strong,” the rally will begin at 8:30 a.m. in Union Square, adjacent to the U.S. Botanic Garden at 100 Maryland Avenue, SW, and will celebrate FCCLA’s seven decades of experience in utilizing Family and Consumer Sciences education to prepare youth for successful futures.
Founded in 1945 as Future Homemakers of America (FHA), the organization had a focus to prepare teens for their roles as homemakers in the post-World War II era. In 1999, FHA members voted to change the organization’s name to Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, a move that symbolized its modern focus on leadership and career preparation while also honoring a foundation in preparing both men and women to have strong families, successful careers and to be community leaders. Today, the organization’s program focus includes financial management, career planning, leadership development and community service, while also meeting the increasing need for highly trained employees for the culinary, hospitality, early childhood education, and the fashion/interior design industries.
“Since our founding in 1945, we have involved more than 10 million youth in the organization,” said Sandy Spavone, executive director of FCCLA. “We are delighted, through today’s rally, to share our rich history and ongoing commitment to preparing young people to be leaders in their families, careers and communities for many more years to come.”
The rally – sponsored by the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.org) – will feature special guest speakers and the largest performance ever of the “GimmeFive Dance” created by First Lady Michelle Obama to promote healthy lifestyles, which is in keeping with the FCCLA national conference’s theme of “Together We Are Healthy.”
FCCLA and Responsibility.org have partnered together to encourage parents and their teens to have family conversations about healthy lifestyle choices, like saying no to underage drinking. Through the FCCLA@TheTable campaign, over 70,000 family dinners were pledged by youth. Research shows that compared to teens who have frequent family dinners, those who have infrequent dinners are twice as likely to consume alcohol. The partnership between Responsibility.org and FCCLA provided conversation starters for families, to guide the discussion around underage drinking prevention.
FCCLA helps teens develop skills and confidence to make smart and responsible choices and we are proud to be a partner of such a great organization,” said Ralph Blackman, president and CEO of the Responsibility.org. “We are excited to sponsor this rally and to continue spreading the message of the importance of beginning conversations at home about responsible and healthy lifestyle choices. The student members of FCCLA personify the healthy lifestyle choices of Responsibility.org.”
Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), is a dynamic and effective national student organization that helps young men and women become leaders and address important personal, family, work and societal issues through Family and Consumer Sciences education. FCCLA has 200,000 members and more than 5,500 chapters from 49 state associations, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
FCCLA: The Ultimate Leadership Experience is unique among youth organizations because its programs are planned and run by members, and it’s the only career and technical in-school student organization with a central focus on family. Participation in national programs and chapter activities helps members become strong leaders in families, careers and communities.
About the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility
The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.org) is a national not-for-profit organization that leads the fight to eliminate drunk driving and underage drinking and is funded by the following distillers: Bacardi U.S.A., Inc.; Beam Suntory Inc.; Brown-Forman; Constellation Brands, Inc.; DIAGEO; Edrington; Hood River Distillers, Inc.; and Pernod Ricard USA. For more than 23 years, Responsibility.org has transformed countless lives through programs that bring individuals, families and communities together to guide a lifetime of conversations around alcohol responsibility and offering proven strategies to stop impaired driving. To learn more, please visit us at www.responsibility.org.