Bloomfield junior, Jaiden Johnson, was recently chosen to be a state FCCLA officer for the 2019-2020 school year. She is one of 8 throughout the state chosen for the honor.
FCCLA is a career technical student organization that stands for Family Career and Community Leaders of America.
“Our main focus career area is Family and Consumer Sciences,” Johnson said. “Basically, we train and promote people to be leaders in society and prepare for their future when they enter the workforce.”
According to her, the FCCLA mission is focusing on the multiple roles of family member, wage earner, and community leader, members develop skills for life through character development, creative and critical thinking, interpersonal communication, practical knowledge and career preparation.
FCCLA is one of the few student lead in-school organizations. The organization is beneficial to students because it provides participating youth with skills and knowledge that will last a lifetime.
“It's important since members can help build their self confidence and learn how to be a leader for today and tomorrow,” Johnson said.
The last time Bloomfield had a state officer, it was Sarah Oltjenbruns over 10 years ago.
“I knew that Bloomfield used to be an even stronger chapter back when Sarah was a state officer,” Johsnon said. “Knowing that Bloomfield hasn’t had a state officer in that long, I thought I should try to follow in her footsteps.”
Johnson’s older siblings had also had roles in the FCCLA program in Bloomfield. Her sister was President of the local chapter and her brother served as Treasurer. Johnson said they are ultimately the ones who inspired her to join FCCLA in 7th grade.
“ I never thought back then I would be where I am now,” she said, thinking back to her younger years.
She had considered applying to be a State Officer for awhile. She was nervous about applying because she was going to be a junior while most state officers are seniors. With encouragement from her family and adviser, she realized that this was something she really wanted to pursue.
“I also thought about how much I would be able to benefit my chapter if I made the team,” she said.
Johnson began the three part process and competed against students from all over the state who had applied.
The first step was filling out an application which was scored by a panel of judges. Only 20 applications submitted were selected to move onto round two. Johnson was one of the 20 and moved on to State Officer Candidate Interviews in February at the state office in Lincoln. According to Johnson, there were two different panels of judges that were interviewing.
This panels consisted of the current state officers, past state officers, and many people that help advise state officers. Along with being interviewed, that same day all of the State Officer Candidates got a test on FCCLA requirements and knowledge.
Application, test, and interview scores were combined and the students with the highest total would move on to the third and final round. Johnson was chosen for the final round was held at State Leadership Conference in April.
Candidates had to present to the entire Nebraska delegation at Opening Session. They had to prepare three sentences on what the future of FCCLA looked like to them, prepare a 3 minute speech on how FCCLA helps members believe in themselves, answer a fact and situation question and work through given a problem with all the other candidates.
“Later that night at 10:30 was the letter drop which had a congratulatory letter saying I had made the team” Johnson said.
Out of my team of 8 State Officers there is only two are juniors, the rest are seniors. Johnson said she is more than ready to take on her new role.
“Responsibilities I have are to lead all of our conferences throughout the year and help my team make all decisions on what this year will look like for Nebraska FCCLA,” she said. “Since we are a student led organization, our State Officer Team makes all the decisions on how we lead conferences, how we promote our membership, how we increase involvement, how we connect with members, how we teach people and help people become better leaders and what our theme is for this year.”
Johnson already attended State Officer Leadership Academy back in May. Her and her team networked with all the other Career and Technical Organizations and were trained and taught how to be a State Officer.
Johnson and the other state officers also have responsibilities on the National level as well. This first week of July her team visited Anaheim, Cal. for the National Leadership Conference. There she served as one of the three chosen voting delegates from Nebraska to assist in selecting the 2019-2020 National Executive Council.
“Also in California my team lead all of our three State Meetings for all the members who had qualified for Nationals,” she said.
Although this new journey has proven to be a challenging one for Johnson, she said that is what she enjoys most about it.
“I have always liked to challenge myself and try to push myself to do things outside of my comfort zone and do something different,” she said.