Grace Belize Anderson, a senior at Wyoming Virtual Academy, has been elected to serve as the 2017-2018 National President of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA).
Grace Belize is one of ten national officers elected during the 2017 National Leadership Conference, held July 2–6 in Nashville, TN. Being elected a national officer to the organization of over 164,000 members is the highest leadership honor an FCCLA member can achieve.20
The five-day leadership event centered on the theme, “Unlimited Possibilities.” During the week, more than 7500 FCCLA members, advisers, alumni and guests attended workshops and sessions on relevant youth issues such as career preparation, financial literacy, environmental education, traffic safety, community service, and leadership development.
“My dream of being a national officer began four years ago at my first National Leadership Conference,” Grace Belize said in her installation speech. “I am extremely honored to have been chosen as your National President and look forward to the year ahead serving this wonderful organization.”
Wyoming has had two previous national officers in the past three years; however, Grace Belize is the first national officer from Wyoming to be named the National FCCLA President. Over thirty years ago, the National FHA President was from Wyoming, so it has been quite some time since Wyoming has had such representation and Grace Belize is very excited to be representing her state in such a capacity.
She will preside over all business meetings of the National Executive Council; serve a two-year term on the National Board of Directors to help set policies and future goals; appoint the chairperson and members of all executive council committees; and be a member ex officio of all National Executive Council committees.
Along with nine other members of the National Executive Council, Grace Belize will travel to Reston, Virginia for training, help lead workshops at the Capitol Leadership Conference and Cluster meetings in D.C. and Oklahoma City, attend a planning meeting in New York City, speak at State Conventions and plan the 2018 National Leadership Conference.
The process to run for a national office began in March, where Grace Belize had to complete an application, give a speech and network with voting delegates at the Wyoming FCCLA State Convention. She was elected by her state as a national officer candidate. From there, she completed the National Officer Application, wrote two essays, created a resume and prepared a three-minute speech on the National Speech topic.
At the National Convention, the 26 candidates running for the ten national officer positions were not allowed to campaign and were required to take a 50-question test on their FCCLA and FCS knowledge. They presented their speeches to the Nominating Committee as well as answered two situational questions and one fact question.
The last activity before the first cut was “Fish Bowl,” an activity where candidates worked as a team to complete a simulation which gave the nominating committee an opportunity to see how each candidate worked in a team setting.
After the first cut, the top 20 candidates went through a networking session with all the voting delegates and then presented their speech on stage for the voting delegates plus answered one situational question.
The top ten candidates receiving the most votes were elected to the National Executive Council. The officer team went through two days of training, where they spent time getting to know one another and then elected each member to the position they felt best fit each person.
Grace Belize is a member of the Moorcroft FCCLA Chapter and credits the support of her advisor Darcy Sams, as well as her parents Gary and Zeta Anderson, for helping her achieve her dream of becoming the FCCLA National President.
She concluded, “Life is full of unlimited possibilities, but it’s your choice of whether you decided to act on those possibilities or not. There are only winners and learners in life. The only time you’re a loser is when you don’t take anything away from the situation. And you only fail when you can’t see the opportunities that have arisen from the slight road block you have encountered.”