LAKEWOOD RANCH — It’s a good thing 17-year-old Jessica Hagood doesn’t mind the color red because this year, she’ll be wearing quite a bit of it.
Last month, the upcoming senior at Lakewood Ranch High School was selected as one of 10 national officers for 2009/2010 for Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. She is the first student from Manatee to hold a national office for the organization.
“My biggest goal is that people will see my passion for this organization,” Hagood said. “It’s not just loving FCCLA. It’s loving what FCCLA stands for (leadership and family). That can carry into any part of your life.”
As the national vice-president of community service for FCCLA, Hagood will spend much of the school year in Reston, Va., at the FCCLA’s national headquarters, where she will attend training and program planning sessions and help plan the focus and content of the FCCLA’s 2010 National Leadership Conference next July in Chicago.
She also will be responsible for organizing the national service project in which every FCCLA chapter in the country will participate. This year’s project is a partnership with the Children’s Miracle Network. Each FCCLA chapter will receive flowers — each representing a child in the network — that they can sell to raise money for the network, plant or give to children in Miracle Network hospitals.
Hagood’s own ambition is more personal.
“My goal is to visit a few of the hospitals this year,” she said. “I might go to Utah to meet with national staff from the Children’s Miracle Network. I want to raise a lot of money for it. That’s my biggest (goal).”
Throughout the year, Hagood and her adviser Elaine Bowling will spend much of their time traveling across the country for speaking engagements, planning sessions and even meeting with legislators to advocate for funding for family consumer science, among other events.
Hagood said being away from her friends and family and from her schoolwork will be difficult, but the experience will be one of a lifetime — one that will teach her how to speak publicly, how to think on her feet and how to work with people, among other things.
“It’s going to be hard, but I’m definitely glad I got this position,” she said. “It really is a once-in-a-lifetime thing.”
Contact Pam McTeer at email@example.com.
IN GOOD COMPANY
Additionally this year, Lakewood FCCLA member Kelsea Livsey will be the state vice president of chapter achievement.
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- Congratulations Jessica!! I know your parents are extremely proud.
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