Asher Swank Makes State FCCLA Office


Hannah Blevins and Haley Thiel

Every year, FCCLA (Future Career and Community Leaders of America) holds state officer elections to determine who runs each aspect of the state board. There are several possible jobs a person running for state office could have: President, Vice President, VP of Individual Programs, VP of Recognition, VP of Peer Education (Peer Ed) Programs, VP of Public Relations, VP of Membership, and VP of Finance. Asher Swank, a junior at Southeast who has been a member of FCCLA for 3 years and was previously in the chapter office as Treasurer, has been elected to state office as Vice President of Peer Ed!

“As the VP of Peer ED,” Asher says, “I will lead workshops that help students improve their leadership skills and everyday life skills. I will lead the peer education team which helps empower students to be their best.” The VP of Peer ED has many important responsibilities. They are in charge of communication between the state officer team and peer education officers and coordinators, as well as a planner and promoter of the Kansas FCCLA Leadership Service in Action Project, Families First, FACTS, Financial Fitness, STOP the Violence, and Student Body. Asher will also be in charge of promoting Peer Education programs at district and chapter levels and will serve as a Kansas voting delegate at the National Leadership Conference.

Leading up to his interview, Asher had to prepare a speech that had to be memorized. “I had to learn the fundamentals of memorizing and giving a speech that captures an audience’s attention. I had a lot of days working with Mrs. Wilson, going over the process that we would go through at the event.” As well as memorizing his speech, Asher had to prepare for his interview. This included studying FCCLA knowledge, such as: the FCCLA tagline, the motto, the foundation information, and FCCLA National Programs. During the 16-minute interview, he was asked questions such as, “What would you do to make FCCLA better?” and “Could you describe a time when you accomplished a goal?”

When asked what advice he would give anyone who may want to run for state office FCCLA in the future, Asher said, “Being a State FCCLA officer is a great leadership opportunity that will greatly benefit your future. It gives you a great experience to learn new things and connect with people across the state and the U.S. When running for this position, you need to have good communication and public speaking skills. During the interview, you want to have confidence in yourself and your answer because that is what the interviewer is looking for.” Asher recommends preparing with mock interviews with teachers or others to know how the process is. “Do not be afraid to run; it might seem like a lot of work, but it is worth it in the end. Even if you don’t make it, you learn many skills that can help you with interviews that you will have in the future.”

Asher worked very hard to get this position, and it shows how much he appreciates the opportunities that FCCLA provides. “FCCLA adds a whole new element to your high school life and helps you improve your skills whether that’s public speaking or community service. It is an organization that is built on the fundamentals of Family and Leadership, and it helps its members become their best selves.”♦