Orange Grove Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) students had a chance to visit Washington as they attended the National Leadership Conference.

Five teams who qualified at the state meeting in April will represent Orange Grove as they compete at the national level on Monday.

Jessica Graham, Sierra Lutz, and Maddie McClain will represent their school as a team in the Chapter in Review Display competition. Mollee Herrmann, Lauren Hinze, and Lunden Myers will compete in the Chapter in Review at the competition.

McKayla Berry, Mary Grace Bluntzer, and Kendall Karasek will also compete in Chapter in Review.

McKenzie Chapa, Allen Russell, and Melissa Russell will compete in Chapter in Review Portfollio.

Alex Acuna, Gus Herschap, and Trey Lopez will compete in Chapter Service Project Display.

According to FCCLA advisor Molly Brock, OGHS also has two state officers this year who will be attending the conference, Hannah Brock as State VP of Membership and Gabby Sanchez as State VP of Public Relations and the Region V President, Callie Andersen.

These students will participate in training and have contacted Rep. Filemon Vela, Jr. who will be meeting with the students to discuss the importance and benefits of CATE education in our schools.

The FCCLA organization will also be celebrating its 70th birthday with an Advocacy Event at Union Station to share the benefits of participating of career and technical organizations.

Brock and the organizations other advisor, Dede Cunningham, will be escorting the students on the trip and are also looking forward to youth and adult training sessions, dynamic speakers, and networking with other FCCLA members from across the nation.

Callie Andersen states that her Family and Consumer Sciences classes have taught her to become a better leader as well as an adult in general because of the experiences that they gain by participating in business meetings, competitions, and meeting dress code expectations for these types of events. "It allows the youth to get involved in a positive way by utilizing some of our national programs that focus on optimizing health issues, practicing safe driving, and stopping cyberbullying," Anderson said.

Brock said the students will be able to demonstrate their talents.

"One of the most beneficial reasons for participating in the organization is the leadership opportunities it provides our young people as well as preparing them for life outside of high school," Brock said. "This trip will be an amazing opportunity for our students to showcase their skills and acquire some new ones. I know that our kids will represent Orange Grove and the great state of Texas very well this week."