When Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) celebrates its 70th anniversary June 11, the organization will commemorate not only its founding in 1945, but also its ability to adapt to changes while keeping a commitment to Family and Consumer Sciences education for seven decades. Founded as Future Homemakers of America in June 1945, the organization had a focus to prepare teens for their roles as homemakers in the post-World War II era. Shortly after, National Homemakers of America was founded for black students in 16 states where schools were segregated by state law. The two organizations merged and held their first joint national meeting as the Future Homemakers of America (FHA) in 1965. In 1999, FHA members voted to change the organization’s name to Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, a move that symbolized its modern focus on leadership and career preparation while also honoring a foundation in preparing both men and women to have strong families, successful careers and to be community leaders. Today, the organization’s program focus includes financial management, career planning, leadership development and community service, while also meeting the increasing need for highly trained employees for the culinary, hospitality, early childhood, and fashion/interior design industries.
“Our ability to adapt to the needs and growth of career opportunities and prepare our students for career and family success has enabled FCCLA to continue be a vibrant career and technical student organization,” said Sandy Spavone, executive director of FCCLA. “Today’s youth want to be involved. They want to make a difference in their own homes, careers, and communities. Working together we are excited to celebrate the organization’s 70th anniversary and look forward to continued success.”
FCCLA will begin celebrating its founding anniversary on June 11 and continue through July 8 when the organization hosts a rally on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. with 5,000 youth and adults in attendance to showcase support for Family and Consumer Sciences education and celebrate 70 years of youth career preparation and leadership. The rally will feature special guest speakers and the largest performance ever of the “GimmeFive Dance” created by First Lady Michelle Obama to promote healthy lifestyles, which is in keeping with the FCCLA national conference’s theme of “Together We Are Healthy.”
FCCLA has involved more than 10 million youth since its founding in 1945. The organization is proud to celebrate its rich history and looks forward to continuing to focus on the preparing youth to be leaders in their families, careers and communities for many years.