New responsibilities, new opportunities for FCCLA president


Courtesy Photo

Kasey Stallbaum

Spending your summer vacation laying on your couch is one thing, but imagine being able to spend part of your summer in California doing what you are passionate about. For one DCHS junior, this is exactly what he got to experience.

Family, Career and Community Leaders of America is a national extracurricular organization that aims to help youth in public and private schools with family bonds, careers, and participation in the community. David City High School FCCLA President Cole Martinez was elected as the state of Nebraska’s FCCLA Vice-President of Development last fall.

Martinez, along with FCCLA Advisor Tonya Zegers, traveled to San Diego, California, on July 1 to July 8 to attend a National FCCLA Convention. While there, they attended many speakers and workshops where they learned valuable information to bring back to use with the DCHS Chapter. The most useful information learned by Martinez was better ways to fundraise and how to get everyone involved.

“We plan to fundraise a lot this year,” Martinez said. “Fundraising is a big part for every member because it is how we pay to attend different things, and we want everyone to go. We plan on doing a lot more different fundraisers this year that have not been done in the school by any other organization.”

Other major FCCLA events Martinez has attended include three National Cluster Meetings in Salt Lake City, Utah; Dallas, Texas; and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and he plans to travel to Denver, Colorado, this coming fall. To Martinez, these trips are more than just an FCCLA meeting.

By going on these trips, I have gained skills such as how to traverse an airport, understanding culture and economic statuses in large cities, and how to use local resources while traveling,” Martinez said. “They also allow me to make new acquaintances all over the country, with some of these relationships having evolved into friendships that will last a lifetime.”

While in California, Martinez and Zegers were fortunate enough to have some down time. The two went sight-seeing and visited various tourist attractions such as the USS Midway Museum, Balboa Park, and Coronado Island to visit the beach. At the end of the week, they went on a cruise around the bay; however, Martinez’s favorite part of the trip was trading pins with other members from different states. By the time he was out of pins to trade, he had an entire book bag covered in them from various states around the country.

“I am very proud of Cole as a student and a member of FCCLA,” Zegers said. “I met him his seventh grade year and took him to a National Cluster Meeting in Oklahoma.  From that shy little boy that would never leave my side, Cole has worked hard and made goals to become a State leader of the organization, he has competed every year, and has made it to State and received medals at the State level.  He is a true example of someone coming out of their shell.”