More stress, less sleep: FCCLA students bring their passion to COD for regional competition


Photo by Hannah Brody

Emma Johnson and Gabriella Purpora pose in front of their Thanksgiving inspired outfit.

As FCCLA students escaped the freezing air and took a seat on the buses headed to the College of Dupage to participate in the regional FCCLA competition, next to them were boxes of cooking supplies that they had practiced with over and over again. There were also hangers with clothes that they had perfected down to the last stitch, portfolios that had required hours and days of work, and others had lesson boards and folders ready to brace the imaginary classroom. All these students from 15 separate events, with endless hours of stress behind them, came to show what they are passionate about.

Grace Wiesenmayer, a sophomore fashion construction competitor, pulled multiple all-nighters in an attempt to get her to state a second time.

  “[I] pulled three all-nighters in a row to finish my dress,” Wiesenmayer said. “It was some of the best memories I had.”

 Fashion construction is only one of the multiple apparel and textile events. Another is a fashion apparel display. For this event, students compete with a partner and design an outfit based on a theme. This years theme was holidays, and junior Gabriella Purpora along with her partner, sophomore Emma Johnson, created a Thanksgiving Day outfit.

 “Going to state is really fun cause you get to spend two days in Springfield,” Purpora said, “and you just get to roam.”

 While all of this is happening on the bottom floor of the building, the culinary students head upstairs to present their hard work. They compete in multiple categories such as relish tray creation, cookie decorating, frosted cakes, and fondant cakes.

 “It’s a lot of just practicing what you can do and creating an idea of how you want to present it,” sophomore Markus Slowinski said.

 Markus is part of the relish tray competition which entails creating a fruit or vegetable tray to make a presentation with.

 “[I spent] ten hours per night three days in a row to practice for this,” Emma Chael, a sophomore cookie decorator, said.

 On the complete opposite side of the building (with multiple ways to get lost) are the early childhood events. With only three categories, the students participate in children’s literature, preschool lesson, or personal childcare.

 “[Competing] was so much fun and it was such a great experience,” senior Isabella Slowinski said.

After the brief moment of celebration and relief that the competition was finished, students quickly redirected their thoughts onto the upcoming state meet. Despite the sleepless nights, pricked fingers, and burnt hands, these hardworking students’ success has proven that it has all been worth it.