GREENSBURG -- Youth from the North Decatur High School chapter of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) recently participated in a weekend leadership conference held in St. Louis, Mo.

Attendees participated in a weekend of training and sessions which challenged, informed, and motivated members and their advisers to become leaders through FCCLA.

Along with more than 4,700 other members and chapter advisers, North Decatur representatives included Andrew Robbins, Dawn Walterman, April Fruchtnicht, Ashlee Moehler, Mandi Adams, and Megan Macke. FCCLA chapter adviser, Joyce Crane, accompanied the six members to the meeting.

The "LOL :) Live Out Loud!" theme was reinforced in the Opening General Session by guest speaker Matt Glowacki who addressed how to tackle ignorance and accept diversity.

Walterman and Fruchtnicht presented the chapter's Anti-Tobacco Community Service Project during two different small group sessions. Walterman and Fruchtnicht first illustrated and explained the project, then fielded questions from the audience.

Keynote speaker Justin Boudreau closed out the Cluster Meeting by inspiring attendees with his motivational message, "Be YOUnique," and encouraging attendees to make the most of their powerful leadership potential.

"This trip was an awesome experience," exclaimed Robbins. "I learned a lot about being a leader for my school chapter and community through this trip. We also went up in the St. Louis Arch, and that was a great experience."

St. Louis hosted one of four nationally sponsored training conferences this fall. National Cluster Meetings are designed to allow local students and teachers to take advantage of high-quality leadership training opportunities. Meetings will also be held in Phoenix, Pittsburgh, and Charlotte.

FCCLA: The Ultimate Leadership Experience 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 more than 220,000 members and nearly 7,000 chapters from 50 state associations and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The organization has involved more than ten million youth since its founding in 1945.

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