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A first: Elliot Doyle to be Wadena chapter MN FCCLA State President

Elliot Doyle Michael Denny/Wadena Pioneer Journal

Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America is a student led organization devoted to technical skills training and giving back to the community. FCCLA is unique because the group takes a centralized focus on family. At a recent FCCLA conference, WDC student, Elliot Doyle was named MN FCCLA State President-Elect for 2019-20 school year. Doyle will go on to serve as the State President during 2020-21 school year.

"It was an awe moment, didn't believe it happened," said Doyle when asked about his election. Doyle is a WDC sophomore who takes extracurriculars very seriously. He's a competitive piano player, participates in the fall play, and is very involved in church activities. His work with FCCLA currently takes center stage.

Cindi Koll, Co-Adviser for the Wadena chapter of FCCLA described Doyle has being very hardworking with excellent people skills. These social skills draw others to him and were instrumental in him getting him elected. She went on to explain that the organization has had some state officers but a state president is a first. She is very proud of the sophomore and impressed with all the work he has done. "This is a huge deal, people don't see the effort and skill it takes," said Koll when discussing the process of becoming a State President. To become President, the student must be incredibly knowledgeable about FCCLA as they will be working with policy makers and legislation. They have to pass a specialized test and be interviewed by the board of directors. Then they have to propose a speech workshop, which they will utilize during their presidency. After that, they must deliver a speech and complete other speech related assignments before being elected. The process is long and arduous. The sheer amount of memorization involved is more than most can handle, according to Koll.

FCCLA hosts a variety of events and works on many community projects. All of these projects emphasize family, something Doyle cherishes about FCCLA.

"We create our own family within the organization, everyone becomes friends," said Doyle.

STAR or Students Taking Action with Recognition is an elaborate event where students engage in unique projects involving education, empowerment, volunteering, or in the case of Doyle, life event planning. Doyle's STAR project was a very personal one. His great grandfather is 88 years old and hasn't seen his daughter in a very long time, she lives in North Carolina. The project was comprised of a five step planning process. The plan consisted of, identifying concerns, setting a goal, forming a plan, acting on the plan, then following up. This structured plan allowed Doyle to organize every aspect of the long trip from acquiring a rental car to gathering the necessary funds. The meeting between father and daughter was emotional.

"It was really hard work, but totally worth it when they did see each other," Doyle said.

"My whole goal from this is to give kids from my school an opportunity to be involved and show them that this is not impossible, it is possible for someone to come into a leadership position on the state level, you just have to work hard and you have to be committed," said Doyle when discussing his newfound position of authority within FCCLA. Doyle made it very clear that everyone has the potential to lead, even if they come from a small town like Wadena. He has been apart of FCCLA since the seventh grade, this is his fourth year.