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3 FCCLA members from WDC headed to nationals

Members of the Wadena-Deer Creek Middle/High School Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) chapter destined to compete at the National FCCLA Conference in Nashville this June pose with Cindi Koll, FCCLA advisor. From left, Hope Norenberg, freshman; Shania Lannes, junior; Koll; and Angela Torkkola, freshman.

After months of designing and changing their competition projects, three members from Wadena-Deer Creek Middle/High School chapter of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) are about to see the payoff for all their hard work. Shania Lannes, a junior at WDC, Hope Norenberg, a freshman and Angela Torkkola, also a freshman, are going to compete at the National FCCLA Conference from July 7-11 in Nashville, Tenn.

Lannes’ project involved job shadowing the FCCLA advisor, Cindi Koll, who also teaches Family and Consumer Science at WDC. Similarly, Norenberg planned out a career path related to an understanding of American Sign Language (ASL); researching things like the college she would go to and the income she would receive if she were to pursue a job where she could use her skills in ASL. Torkkola compiled a scrapbook detailing all of the activities of the WDC FCCLA chapter an entire year. Lannes has been in FCCLA for five years, while Noremberg and Torkkola have been in it for three.  

Preparing their projects to go up against the best in the country has been no easy task for the students.

“It’s a little nerve-wracking to get it prepared to where it’s good at nationals,” Lannes said.

Frayed nerves were not a unique symptom among the three FCCLAers.

“I’m extremely nervous for all the competition that’s going to be there,” Torkkola said. “It’s like the best people.”  

Koll said the WDC chapter is still raising funds for the considerable expense of sending the three students to Nashville, about $1,000 per member. The chapter has sold candy bars and cookie dough, held an FCCLA night at Pizza Ranch, and asked for donations from local business to try to raise enough money. Koll said the chapter has sent members to nationals for the past three years, but this is the first time that three individual projects have advanced at once.

The girls will take a charter bus down to Nashville along with the rest of the national finalists from chapters all around Minnesota.

“We’ll get to do some Minnesota bonding,” Norenberg said. “I have yet to meet a mean person in FCCLA. Every single person I’ve met is so nice and generous.

They also said they plan to visit both the Grand Ole Opry and the Nashville Hard Rock Cafe during their downtime.