Jo Anne Embleton
Jacksonville Daily Progress
A two-member team from Wells High School took top honors in the first annual AXED Culinary Arts Competition held Jan. 26 in Diboll.
Evelyn Benton and Ruby Hernandez took grand prize honors in the main event, beating 11 other teams from Diboll, Central, Porter and Livingston, and advancing to the dessert round.
“I am extremely proud of these ladies,” said FCCLA advisor Kim Herman. “They worked very well together and just had fun.”
The girls are members of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America program at Wells High School, which is a nationwide career and technical in-school student organization that focuses on family.
FCCLA is student led and student run, and “helps young men and women become leaders and address important personal, family, work and societal issues through Family and Consumer Sciences education,” and has now grown to more than 200,000 members in over 6,500 chapters from 49 state associations, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, according to an FCCLA press release.
Its roots trace back to the Future Homemakers of America (FHA), which began in Chicago in 1945, and merged 20 years later with the New Homemakers of America, “a similar organization in predominantly black schools,” according a history posted on the the FCCLA Georgia website.
In 1970, according to the site, occupational home economics was included with Home Economics Related Occupations (HERO); nearly three decades later, in 1999, the name changed to FCCLA.
In Wells, the group is an active one, Herman said, describing how in December, members completed five areas for Power of One project (Take The Lead, Speak Up for FCCLA, Family Ties, A Better You, & Working on Working), and will be recognized at a Region III Leadership Meeting held March 1-2 in Irving.
The group has participated in a number of different drives and collections – including toy drives and a holiday food basket give-away – and will mark the national FCCLA Week in mid-February with a “Fill The Case” canned food drive that benefits the Wells Community Food Bank.
Goods will be collected Feb. 8-22, with collection boxes at the high school.