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story.lead_photo.caption Westside Eagle Observer/SUBMITTED Members of the Decatur FCCLA show off their certificates and medals after taking a silver medal in Parliamentary Procedure competition during the national convention in Atlanta, Ga. July 2. Participating in the week-long convention were Emmy Lee, Kara Gregory, Tabby Tilley and Alisun Watson.

DECATUR -- Four Decatur High School students traveled to Atlanta, Ga., to attend the weeklong Family, Career, Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) National Leadership Conference at the Georgia World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta.

The team, made up of Alisun Watson, Kara Gregory, Tabitha Tilley, Emmy Lee, and accompanied by sponsor Ladale Clayton, departed Decatur early on the morning of June 26 bound for central Georgia. They arrived sometime on June 27. After checking into their hotel rooms, the group rested the remainder of the day in preparation for the start of the conference June 28.

Emmy Lee recounts how the team did during the final competition July 2 and some of the more interesting aspects of the stay in Atlanta.

"We went to the national leadership conference representing Decatur and the State of Arkansas and we won a silver medal in parliamentary procedures," Lee recalled. "We competed against a team from Hawaii and they were really, really nice. There were some teams from Michigan, Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia, Minnesota and California, all competing for their state like us."

While not involved with conference activities, the quartet had the opportunity to see the sights, including the Georgia Aquarium where they had a close encounter with dolphins, something kids from Northwest Arkansas rarely get to experience.

Besides the dolphins and other sights at the aquarium, Lee recalled two particularly interesting things the four girls and their sponsor did during their off time in downtown Atlanta.

"We went to see the Coca Cola Museum," Lee said. "This one room (in the museum) had samples (of Coca Cola) from around the world and we could just try as many of them as we wanted for free."

One thing that Lee, Watson, Gregory, Tilley and Clayton did together was riding the Skyview Atlanta Ferris Wheel. The 20-story-high ride afforded the girls a perfect view of the night skylines of Atlanta, something they rarely get the chance to experience in Northwest Arkansas.

"We went up in the Skyview," Lee stated with a big smile. "That thing is really, really big and the height is extraordinary. One of our girls was afraid of the height, so Ladale sat on one side of her and I sat on the other. She did alright."

According to its website, FCCLA is a career and technical organization that "provides personal growth, leadership development, and career preparation opportunities for students in family and consumer sciences education. Its mission is to promote personal growth and leadership development through family and consumer sciences education. Focusing on the multiple roles of family member, wage earner and community leader, members develop skills for life through character development, creative and critical thinking, interpersonal communication, practical knowledge and career preparation."

On one of the nights, there was a gala ball that the girls had the chance to attend. For Lee, this was her most memorable part of the trip and something she is not likely to forget.

My favorite part of this trip was the gala dance and that was amazing," Lee recalled. "We danced the night away."

General News on 07/18/2018

Print Headline: Decatur FCCLA team experiences national conference in Atlanta

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