FCCLA students prep for nationals

Russell Anglin

Tucumcari High School’s Family, Career and Community Leaders of America organization is raising funds for national competition this summer. It is also raising students’ levels of alertness throughout the school day.

“We’ve been selling coffee for about half of the year,” freshman Sanda Garrett said.

Coffee and smoothie sales are getting the four high school nationals qualifiers closer to this summer’s competition in Anaheim, Calif., one dollar at a time. FCCLA coordinator Joyce Garrett said the group has also worked the concession stand at sporting events and picked up trash for the city to help raise funds.

The team placed first in state competition two weeks ago in Albuquerque with its low-fat beef jerky recipe and presentation. The event the team won, called “food innovations,” calls for students to develop a food recipe and fine-tune it by having focus groups and other individuals try the food and critique it. Students develop a marketing strategy, proposed food packaging and are judged based on their presentation and display.

“We need to improve and fix our speech so that we can come back way sharper than we were at state, especially because it’s a long time away. We have a long time and we can do a lot better in that time,” freshman Roxanne Awais said.

“We want to place gold. Hopefully we’ll win this time,” Sanda Garrett added. Garrett qualified for national competition last year and won silver.

As part of its presentation, the group also put together a video advertisement entitled “heartburning beef jerky” and uploaded it to YouTube.

“(The judges) really liked it and it was fun doing it,” sophomore Guillermo Ramirez said.

“It’s a good experience for them. It’s more like an academic triathlon. They have to do the product, they have to do the research and they have to put it all together,” Joyce Garrett said.

The teams heads to Anaheim in July.