Expect Respect! That was the theme as well as the name of a performing group at the District 7, fall meeting of the Family Career and Community Leaders of America. The FCCLA had the first of their bi-annual meetings at the Clay County 4-H Fairgrounds on Nov. 7.
According to FCCLA CO-chairs Dava Boor and Connie Baily, from Northview and Clay City High Schools, the focus of the state and national organization is to promote leadership skills and teamwork and to encourage students to make better choices.
The day-long program also included a challenge leadership program and many skits to enforce the FCCLA mission which is to promote personal growth and leadership development through family consumer sciences education.
The Expect Respect Group, a teen drama group from Whitko High School near Fort Wayne, was high energy, spirited and grabbed the students' attention.
The group acted out every day events and challenges that most students face. They showed the varying reactions to the difficulties youth must contend with daily regarding school and work and relationships with parents, teachers, bosses and peers. Expect Respect showed the students reasonable and unreasonable ways to react to adversities and how to make the best choices.
"Not everybody does the same thing when they're on drugs," explained an Expect Respect youth. "Some are sad. Some are glad. Some get high and some are low. The thing is, don't do drugs. Then you won't have to go on the emotional roller coaster ride of drugs."
The program ended with the reciting of the FCCLA creed: "We are Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. We face the future with warm courage and high hope. For we have the clear consciousness of seeking old and precious values. For we are the builders of homes, homes for America's future, homes where living will be the expression of everything that is good and fair. Homes where truth and love and security and faith will be realities, not dreams."