Nicolette Ngov – Mustangs Ahead
(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – LRHS junior Morgan Kirchman is state president-elect of the Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). Kirchman shared with “Mustangs Ahead” her experiences as a state officer in a national organization.
Mustangs Ahead (MA): How did you become a state officer and what was the process like?
Morgan Kirchman (MK): The process to run for state office was about six-months. I started out by making my board, which was in the shape of a rocket ship (the state theme was Ignite Your Potential; space). It took about a month to write my speech and I went through about eight different versions of my speech due to editing and timing. The part that was the hardest for me was learning FCCLA facts such as the creed, tagline, or motto. The first day of our State Leadership Conference, March 16, 2018, was the day I ran. The first part was called Round Robin; it is like a press conference the president does, I stood in the front of a room filled with about 50 people (the voting delegates) as they asked me questions. Some examples were how long had I been in FCCLA, what is my previous involvement, what would I do as president, and what does FCCLA mean to me. Following the round robin was the candidate displays, all the officer candidates stood in a room with their display board. The voting delegates walked around the room and could ask me any questions pertaining to FCCLA, specially to anything that was on my board. Later, I had two minutes to present my speech to a crowd of about 800 people that included the voting delegates, members, advisors, and parents. I found out the following day if I won.
MA: What are your duties as an officer?
MK: As President-Elect my main duties is to learn the job of president and prepare myself to take over as president next year. Another duty is I oversee membership for Florida FCCLA and work to increase our membership.
MA: What made you want to become an officer?
MK: For me, the idea of being a state officer was never in my mind. Taylor Trevithick (LRHS graduate and former FCCLA State President) and (LRHS FCCLA adviser) Mrs. (Elaine) Bowling approached me with the idea of running for state office last September. At first, I was hesitant to run, but after guidance from Taylor and spending many hours talking to her, I finally decided to run. I knew it was an opportunity I could not pass up and was a once in a lifetime chance.
MA: What is your officer team like and do you have any funny stories?
MK: Our officer team is very diverse! We have two girls from Colombia…another from up in the panhandle in a town of about 500 people, and then the president is Cuban. We are from all different places, but FCCLA brought us all together which I think is one of the coolest things!
MA: What are some fun stories that you’ve had so far?
MK: Just last weekend we were up in Bushnell with our state adviser. She just got a new car with a Bose speaker system and was so excited to show it off. We were jamming out driving down the road screaming at the top of our lungs. It was one of those moments where I sat back and said to myself “How did I get this lucky to have this great of a life?” I have had a lot of moments where I sat back and questioned how I got so lucky to be an officer.
MA: How has handling school and FCCLA been and what are some of the troubles you’ve faced?
MK: Learning how to handle school and FCCLA has been a challenge. While I had time management prior to be an officer, I have learned even more of how to manage my time. I have learned to not waste time and to use every minute I have. However, it has also taught me to take time for myself to not become exhausted and overworked.
MA: What have you learned from being an officer?
MK: Being an officer, I have learned a multitude of leadership skills in addition to public speaking. I have learned to have patience and to always consider other opinions. I am now comfortable speaking in front of a crowd consisting of hundreds of people whereas before FCCLA I was not. FCCLA has also shown me that I have a passion for making a difference in people’s lives!
MA: What advice would you give someone who wants to become a state officer as well?
MK: GO FOR IT! You have nothing to lose, only something to gain. I promise that even if you don’t win, you win still take away so much from the process of running for state office. And if you win then your life has been changed and you have many new opportunities to look forward to.