Viera’s FCCLA Club wins national award for work with community


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Shannon Lee, left, Abigail Muenchow, Daniella Fox, Kylie Mulligan and DJ Hosmer were members of the Viera High/Space Coast Junior/Senior High FCCLA Club that took the national High School Families First Award and will be honored this month in Anaheim, California.

Courtesy of Carrie Humphrys

Some of them joined just for the competition, but what they got out of it was so much more.

And now, they’ve got a national award to show for it.

The Viera High School/Space Coast Junior/Senior High School Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) club was named the 2019 National first-place winner of the Families First Award at a recent ceremony in Orlando.

As the national winner, the club — which features 34 Viera students and one from Space Coast — will receive a $1,000 award presented to them at the 2019 FCCLA National Leadership Conference, which will be held June 30 to July 4 in Anaheim, California.

Carrie Humphrys, the Viera CTE department chair, fashion and interior design instructor and FCCLA sponsor, sent out a news release in which she described Families First as a peer education program created by the FCCLA and designed to give children a better understanding of how families work and learn skills to become family members.

The VHS/SCHS FCCLA chapter partnered with Braveheart Properties in Cocoa for its project. Braveheart helps provide attractive, affordable housing in a safe neighborhood to intact families, Humphrys wrote in her release. Braveheart is the only organization in Brevard County that helps families with any male older than the age of 12, whether that be a parent or a sibling.

Through the project, students donated chickens, clothing, furniture, housewares, school supplies and holiday gifts to Braveheart families.

“I think I got a lot out of it,” Viera freshman Elise Neuman said. “Giving back to the community is really something special. Seeing them and how they really light up when they thank you is really cool.”

Viera freshman DJ Hosmer said she joined the FCCLA for several reasons.

“I joined it because it seemed like a really fun and interesting club,” she said. “And then, there’s the competition aspect as well.”

Indeed, there are 35 categories in which students can compete for awards. Three club members have qualified to compete in National STAR events. Abigail Muenchow will compete in a focus on children, Kylie Mulligan in fashion design, and Hosmer in the Chapter Service Project.

But clearly, the category that made the biggest impact on students was the Families First project they started last spring.

“I wanted to join for the competitions because the competitions really allow you to pursue what you’re interested in,” Viera junior Shannon Lee said. “Mine, personally, is interior design. That’s what I’m focusing on.

“But I joined the club and realized it’s more than about the competitions. It’s about the people in the club and the service projects we do inside of it as well.”

Humphrys couldn’t be prouder of the student’s accomplishments in helping out the community.

“I think it’s phenomenal that they worked so hard to support other people and that they realized … in Family Consumer Science, the focus is (about) putting families first,” she said.

“Choosing an organization (to support) that also helps families, it just shows that they understand our purpose and our mission.”