Troup High Tigers place fourth in nationwide competition

Published 9:45 am Wednesday, July 12, 2023

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Troup High Tigers Aziyah Johnson and Jada Menefield recently represented their school at the 2023 FCCLA National Leadership Conference in Denver, Colorado.

The duo competed in the Food Innovations Level 2 STAR Event from July 2-6 and achieved a gold medal and placed fourth.

The FCCLA National Leadership Conference provided a platform for attendees to expand their leadership skills, sharpen their talents, explore career pathways and listen to inspiring speakers.

At the heart of the conference were the highly anticipated Students Taking Action with Recognition (STAR) Events. Over 4,300 FCCLA members competed in these events, where they were recognized for their proficiency and achievement in chapter and individual projects, leadership skills and career preparation.

STAR Events play a pivotal role in supporting student development by enhancing their classroom experience and guiding them toward successful career pathways. With more than 30 events to choose from, participants have the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and abilities by actively addressing important issues concerning families, careers or communities.

The student’s project, “How Sweet is That Cookie?” explored nutrition and food preparation principles by having them reduce sugar in cookie recipes, have their classmate taste test, and adjust the recipes to create a final product.

“This is our first year doing FCCLA, and we both had experience in the kitchen because we both loved to bake. So we got together and planned it all out, letting students taste them and improving the recipe as we went along,” Menefield said.

The girls prepared two cookies — Snickerdoodle and peanut butter.

“We asked around and got a lot of different options from people, but we ultimately chose Snickerdoodle and peanut butter. After choosing what type of cookie to make, we then chose the alternative to sugar to put in. For Snickerdoodle, we chose unsweetened apple sauce and for peanut butter, we did banana because we thought those were two good combos that would go together,” Menefield said.

Johnson said working on the project with Menefield was a lot of fun.

“Doing the project with Jada was really easy because we were understanding of each other, and I feel like it connected us more to one another. It was really nice getting to connect more with her on this level,” Johnson said.

“It was a really fun experience,” Menefield said. “We have been friends since pre-K, and so the project was easier and worked out to be another fun experience that we could do together.”

Menefield said getting to represent her school and county out of state was a memory she’ll never forget.

“We didn’t get top three, but we were still very happy because we got top ten in like the whole country. The whole experience was wonderful. I had never been on like the West Coast before this,” Menefield said. “We were the only people from Troup County and our school to go and a lot of people were happy that we got to do this and represent Troup.”

“I am proud of us for placing in the top ten. I was so happy about getting to represent our school on that stage. This was a great experience and I loved getting to meet new people,” Johnson said. “From this experience, it showed me that I can do anything if I believe in myself and that it is possible to make it in the top ten.”

The girls said in they plan to continue with FCCLA and participate in more conferences.