Berryville students attend national events

Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Kirklyn Powell attended the FBLA National Leadership Conference.
Submitted photo

By Haley Schichtl

Jacey Howerton, Christena Matzeder, and Kirklyn Powell of Berryville High School all went to National Leadership Conferences last summer.

Howerton and Matzeder went to Anaheim, Calif., for FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) and Powell went to San Antonio for FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America).

Howerton, who went to nationals the past two summers, is now a district officer, so rather than competing this year, she went to the conference to represent her district and help lead state meetings.

In the two clubs, students learn networking and leadership skills. They can participate in community service projects, learn how to do job interviews, or learn about sales and accounting, Berryville district testing coordinator Mindy Hicks said. The groups have local, district, state and national competitions.

Powell, who was only a freshman when he went to nationals, is the vice president of the FBLA chapter.

“I went for sales presentation, so I had to choose a product and sell it to them,” Powell said. “So I chose the Tile Tracker — it’s a device that connects to your phone and you hook it to whatever you want … so if you lost it and you’re in a range of 300 feet from it, you can find it.”

He had to give a presentation on the product and be able to answer any questions the audience had about it.

Howerton said she likes being in FCCLA because it helps her get involved in the community and meet people.

“This was only my first year in FCCLA and going to nationals,” Matzeder said. “It definitely made me step out of my comfort zone — I don’t normally talk in front of people, and I talked in front of quite a few.”

Although Matzeder made the top two in district and state competitions, allowing her to go to nationals, an unfortunate case of food poisoning kept her from being able to present her project at the conference. In fact, Howerton was the only one in their group that did not come down with food poisoning after a trip to Denny’s.

“I competed in Chapter Service Project Portfolio,” Matzeder said. “My project was ‘Jeans for Teens.’ I collected a bunch of jeans and donated them to Bright Futures to help students in need.”

Howerton said that while the others were sick, she got to spend some time with the state officer team and see what they do.

“Being able to help lead the state meetings was really fun,” she said. “I got to sit in on the national executive council speeches, and that was really neat.”

Part of going to the conferences is getting to experience the cities they are in.

“There usually is some fun packed in,” Hicks said.

Powell said he got to go to some historical sites such as the Alamo during his time in San Antonio, which he enjoyed.

“Just being able to be in the city was fun,” he said. “Since Berryville is so small, we don’t have a lot. I’m vegan and there were a lot of vegan restaurants.”

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