Photo of Patriot students in front of the Capitol

Four Patriot High School Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) students attended the FCCLA’s Capitol Leadership event held recently in Washington, D.C.  

Madison (Maddie) Hall, senior, Aria McGee, junior, Olivia (Liv) Tiscenko, junior, and Abigail (Abby) Trapani, senior, represented Patriot High at the conference and advocated for family and consumer sciences education and career and technical student organizations, such as FCCLA.

“FCCLA's Capitol Leadership event allows student leaders from across the country to collaborate with each other while learning about public policy that could directly affect both themselves and their peers,” said Kathryn Jett McVea, family and consumer sciences teacher and FCCLA adviser at Patriot.  “Members attending could practice public speaking, meet with their Senate and congressional representatives, and advocate for their education needs by explaining the valuable state and national programs they participate in by being in FCCLA.”

The Virginia delegation for FCCLA met with staff members of U.S. Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner in the Hart Senate Building. Topics discussed included increased support to improve teacher retention. The Patriot FCCLA members also met with Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton’s congressional aide, who represents Prince William County.

 "FCCLA is very important to me because it has shaped me into a strong public speaker, and it has expanded my knowledge of many issues in our community,” shared Trapani, Patriot FCCLA vice president of national programs.

“Traveling to the Capitol has helped me realize that I can make a difference on real-world issues in society. This experience helped prove that I can do anything I put my mind to,” added Hall, Patriot FCCLA chapter president.

There are three national FCCLA conferences held annually each year. These conferences serve as platforms for FCCLA students to strengthen their public-speaking skills, develop as leaders, and explore future career paths. Upcoming conferences include the 2024 National Leadership Conference in Seattle, Washington.

When asked what advice they had for a classmate or peer interested in joining FCCLA, McGee, FCCLA vice president of membership stated, “I would tell them about the fantastic opportunities that FCCLA gives; as an introvert, I find it hard to be around large groups of people, but being in this club has helped me overcome this; I'd love for other people like me to overcome their fears and join FCCLA."

Tiscenko, FCCLA vice president of public relations, concluded, “I would tell my peers that FCCLA creates tons of opportunities, not only for your present, but also for your future.”