Greater than gold


Senior Mawal Sidi and sophomores Tres Williams, Ilana Williams and Duo-Wei Yang display their medals after the 2014 FCCLA STAR events ceremony.

On March 21, three members of Decatur’s FCCLA chapter were named STAR (Students Taking Action with Recognition) event gold medalists and qualified for nationals this summer in San Antonio, Tex.

Senior Mawal Sidi and sophomores Tres and Ilana Williams worked on projects related to family and consumer sciences outside of school that would contribute to the Decatur community or their family in some form.

“My project was about making my family healthier by revamping what we ate and how we exercised,” Sidi said. “I wanted to do a project focusing on our traditional and cultural food.”

She was “surprised”, as her goal was never nationals and this year was the last she was able to compete.

“I just wanted to make it to state, and whatever happened after that was no biggie for me. But when I heard that I go into nationals I was so happy because I worked so hard on this project, harder than any other year.”

Tres and Ilana, who are twins, were both surprised and ecstatic at their successful first FCCLA competition.

“When we found out we were going to nationals, we were so shocked. All I heard was ‘Decatur, gold.’ So I was thinking ‘Did we get just gold without nationals?’,” Ilana said. “When we walked back to our seats, we heard “congratulations”, and we asked the lady standing at the door if [we were going to nationals.] And she was like ‘Yes, both of you are going to nationals. For real.’ ”

The three participants spent their winter break working on their STAR event projects.

Sidi spent hours constructing a poster and a portfolio documenting her project.

Tres and Ilana’s project was in the “Focus on Children” category of STAR events.

Their project was a community service plan to create backpacks filled with cans of food, essentials and healthy snacks for low-income students at CSD elementary schools.

“We heard of a program [in another FCCLA chapter] that gives food to kids in backpacks, so we decided to do a local program just like the one we learned about,” Tres said.

The twins plan to implement the community service project with the Decatur chapter by the end of the school year.