Contributed by Jenny Demczyk, Adviser, Ohio
My experience in the FCCLA Adviser Academy was a rewarding one. Not only did I network and make friends with many advisers from across the country (many of which I see at national FCCLA events), but I also learned many skills to help my FCCLA chapter succeed at school and in the community. By completing the activities in the program, I was challenged to put into action my job and responsibilities as an adviser for my students. Actually building a program of work, filling out a national award application, and working with the other adviser academy candidate from my state helped me to become a more well-rounded adviser and teacher.
Attending national events for the first time through adviser academy helped me to see the meaning behind the steps in the program, and helped me to get a birds eye view of the organization without the responsibility of chaperoning students. I attended my first national conference by myself for adviser academy, and fortunately had a great state adviser (Paulette Farago) that let me tag along with her and her state officers. By looking at what the state officers accomplished at national events, I was able to see that I too, could actively pursue a job at the state level.
The year I graduated from the adviser academy, I had a student interested in running for state office, so I took the next step to support a student with this wonderful organization. I also seen an improvement in my class numbers, FCCLA membership numbers (up 15 students in membership from the year before), and noticed that I was less stressed after acquiring the skills learned in Adviser Academy. Overall, it was a rewarding experience and really helped me to grow professionally.