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Murray Journal

Cottonwood graduates rank amongst best in FCCLA leadership contest

Sep 04, 2022 10:34AM ● By Julie Slama

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

A 2022 Cottonwood High graduate compared her leadership skills to a budding flower, which helped her blossom into the top 10 nationally in a national competition.

Georgia Barrus was recognized as one of the top 10 nationwide in the leadership contest at this past summer’s Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America conference, which attracted more than 7,100 students, advisers and educators to San Diego.

“I was competing against the best of the best,” she said, as each state was allowed to send their top candidate in the contest to compete nationally. “I was a little bit nervous, but I was ready. I approached it, honestly, as I'm doing this for myself to see what I can do so I was more excited.”

FCCLA is a club associated with family consumer sciences and helps youth expand their leadership potential and develop skills for life, such as planning, goal-setting, decision-making and interpersonal communication.

At the state contest in leadership this past spring, Barrus took gold in the event and her teammate, Lily Lundeen, took silver.

After being recognized on the national stage for being in the top 10, Barrus and Lundeen were honored respectively in front of the Utah delegation with national gold and silver levels of distinction.

Barrus said that she has received positive feedback of her flower analogy.

“My theme was what really stuck with people. I’d say that in freshman year I was a little seed in the ground. And now, I’m this blooming flower, but that start and budding seemed so long ago,” she said. “After my presentation, the judges asked questions like ‘what did you learn during the presentation?’ Or ‘what did you learn from being a leader?’ Or ‘how would you improve?’ Those are pretty easy to reflect on. I talked about in my presentation that after I graduated, I learned that it’s vital to being a leader is to reflect on yourself every week. It's really important that you improve.”

In her presentation, Barrus outlined her leadership and high school experiences such as five years on the mountain biking team, including being captain her senior year; her presidency in both FCCLA and in Cottonwood’s National Honors Society; her internship at a nearby elementary school; and her part-time jobs.

She also included how she’d like to bring a FCCLA chapter to a Native American reservation since currently there isn’t one and it’s part of her heritage.

Barrus plans to attend the University of Oregon in early education, rooming in the Native American and Indigenous Studies academic residential community.

Lundeen used her experience as a Girl Scout as a base of her presentation, Barrus said.

“She was able to really talk about all her Girl Scout leadership experience in her presentation,” Barrus said, adding that this past year, Lundeen oversaw Cottonwood’s chapter’s social media, so she was able to address the importance of communication, social media and time management goals as well.

In addition to competing, the two Cottonwood students had a chance to trade FCCLA state pins with other students and visit some sights in San Diego.