McKenzie earns gold
at national competition

Amy McKenzie of Strawberry recently participated in the STAR, Students Taking Action with Recognition, Events at Family, Career and Community Leaders of America's (FCCLA), 2007 National Leadership Meeting.

McKenzie, a junior at Black Rock High School and the daughter of Scott and Lori McKenzie, received a gold medal in Career Investigation Senior, one of 16 national STAR Events available to FCCLA students. More than 5,000 members, advisers, alumni and guests from across the nation attended the meeting.

McKenzie's medal was presented at a session honoring all participants at the Anaheim Convention Center. This event is an individual event that recognizes participants for their ability to perform self-assessments, research and explore a career, set career goals, create a plan for achieving goals and describe the relationship of Family and Consumer Sciences course work to the selected career. McKenzie chose to research a college professor of psychology.

"Through this project, I learned that professors of psychology have unique and interesting careers. My portfolio and speech featured a local professor, Dr. Gary Gregory at Williams Baptist College. I felt honored to include his interview and picture as part of this project," said McKenzie.

"I was thrilled to compete and achieve a gold rating at the national level. This competition has been a dream of mine for the past few years. I would like to thank Mr. David Foley, Black Rock High School; Brett Broadway, American Railcar Industries, Paragould; Dr. Gary Gregory, WBC; Dr. McGregor, ASU; and my advisor, Dianna Howard for making this trip possible."

McKenzie was also selected to represent District III in the National Programs Training meeting with state officers from across the U.S. to discuss how to promote the FCCLA Programs. Lori McKenzie accompanied her daughter to Anaheim and served as a national evaluator for the STAR Events category, Focus on Children. They also participated in the Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society, FCCLA's national project in which members raised over $367,000 over the past year.

Throughout the year, FCCLA members tackle issues such as teen violence prevention, traffic safety, family issues, career exploration and much more.

FCCLA: The Ultimate Leadership Experience is a 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.

The national leadership meeting McKenzie attended centered on the student-developed theme, "Leadership Revolution." During this five-day meeting, participants examined many of the issues facing youth and worked toward gaining the life skills they need to meet those challenges. Jimmy Morris, baseball legend from the movie, "The Rookie," spoke to the students and encouraged them to believe in themselves and stay true to their dreams despite adversity and discouragement.

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