MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – The Family, Career and Community leaders of America is a group of high school students and advisors from across the country.

The organization has nearly 200,000 members. The national president of the organization comes from Elberta High School in Baldwin County. Mary Katherine Gunn with us to tell us about FCCLA and how she became involved in it.

Bill: Well, the family, career and community leaders of America is a group of high school students and advisors from across the country.

Jessica: The organization has nearly 200,000 members. The national president of the organization comes from Elberta High School in Baldwin County. And this morning, we have Mary Katherine Gunn with us to tell us about FCCLA. What is the organization and how did you become involved?

Mary Katherine Gunn/President FCCLA: So FCCLA stands for Family, Career and Community Leaders for America. We are the inter-curricular organization for family in consumer sciences, which used to be home economics. FCCLA is based around public leadership growth and leadership development through family in consumer science education. So focusing on the roles of family member, a wage earner and community leader, we help students develop skills for life. And we open doors for them that some people never thought would be possible.

Bill: You know, it’s quite interesting, but your story, I think, is quite interesting to you became you were state president. You became the national president. That’s what we said. 200,000 student plus.

Mary Katherine Gunn: 200,000 members that I’ll be serving as the youth voice for.

Jessica: And you took over in July. So what is the year ahead look like for you?

Mary Katherine Gunn: So I was in Reston, Virginia for our August planning meeting about a week ago. I got back last Wednesday, and then I’ll leave to go back to D.C. for our capital leadership, which is where we advocate for career tech education and family and consumer sciences. And then I’ll be in Columbus, Ohio for our National Fall Conference. And then I’ll go to Las Vegas, Nevada. I’ll be speaking at a ACTE Vision conference representing FCCLA, and ACT a whole, they go on a rotation every year of the eight certified CTSOs and this year, FCC gets to speak to give the greetings for our vision conference.

Bill: You’re going to be busy, I guess. Now, tell me for people who are involved in FCCLA, what what are the benefits?

Mary Katherine Gunn: Well, not only career and personal development, but also shows you what you can make, how you can make your community better. So for me, it’s working with organizations like the BaxStrong Foundation, who’s a local nonprofit in Elberta that was founded after Bax Duddy passed away along with learning how you can actually make a difference in the world.
So for me, not only work coming BaxStrong, but also showing how that can connect to my future career. So I want to go into public communications and eventually work with the nonprofit. So it’s really cool to show our members not only how they can connect their passions with their future, but also how they can use them today.

Jessica: You have a bright future ahead of you. Mary Katherine Gunn. Thank you for being here this morning, letting us highlight a high school student. Really great things on the national stage.

Bill: Pretty exciting to hear about. Good luck to you.

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