A short, Humorous guide on being a State Officer (words of advice and more)

Contributed by:  Tracy Wamsley, Nebraska FCCLA State Secretary

Being a leader

People say that leaders make the right decisions. What even is a leader? If I’m being honest with you, I don’t know. But, I am sure that if you Google it, you’ll find the exact definition because everything you read on Google is true. In all fairness, to be a leader, you do not need to know how. Silly right? Being a leader all depends on how others think of you. You know that one quote that says, “Don’t worry about what others think of you. It doesn’t matter”? Yeah, well, in this case, it’s WRONG. What others think of you while you are on your journey as a State Officer is extremely important and if you want to do your best, you need to understand this. First lesson of the day: Be prepared when speaking at FCCLA sessions. Do not, I repeat, do NOT “Wing it”. This bad decision is only used by those A+ students in school saying they “winged” an assignment when really, they didn’t. They just want others to not judge the outcome of their assignment harshly (Not like I’m speaking from experience or anything…).

30 second elevator speech

Speaking from experience, I can assure you all that if are a State Officer, random people will come up and ask you what FCCLA is. Because you are representing an organization bigger than yourself, you need to be prepared. It doesn’t matter who asks you this question, you need to respond. This is the only way others will know how important you are and how great it is you are representing Nebraska FCCLA. So, think of something to say and get it memorized. But hey, once you get this down in your memory, you will be able to say it in your sleep for sure! Just remember, do not talk too fast. It does not LITERALLY have to be 30 seconds. You don’t want to seem like you are attacking the person with your saliva because your tongue can’t keep up with your words, while you are also running out of breath. It sounds terrible for me just typing it, so you already know it’s not a good impression.


A good way to make a good impression is to wear the appropriate attire. Pants, skirts, heels, dress shirts, pearls, earrings, makeup, and even red lipstick.You name it. Then, you have the most important piece of clothing, the Red Blazer. Wow…This blazer has so much more meaning than just a jacket. People will look at you differently when you have on the red blazer. If this isn’t enough to get you excited for FCCLA, just think, you will have the ultimate excuse to dress up nice without getting asked by your parents  if you are planning on going on a date.


As a state officer, you will go on many trips. When I say many, I mean it. So far this year, I have went on at least 6 different traveling trips overall, in-state and out of state.  Before you get to that phase of actually traveling, you have to pack first. Word of advice: Prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse. No joke. You need to pack everything from underwear to lint rollers. Heck, you might as well throw in some bandages, a complete first aid kit, and even some tape. Trust me guys, you never know when you’re going to trip and fall down the stairs nearly killing yourself because there was not the option of an elevator. Or, when there is an elevator,  but the hotel has over 8,000 FCCLA members all trying to get to their rooms and you get tired of waiting after 30 minutes(34 minutes to be exact). Remember, almost dying from the stairs is totally worth saving a few extra minutes of free time when you are prepared for the worst.


Preparing for the worst when it comes to deadlines is exactly what you should do. Image this: It is finally your Senior year and like most people, you are excited to graduate! Then, you start taking college classes and realize by the second week of school you aren’t going to have a social life anymore. Don’t even get me started on Senioritis. So, once you let that sink in and accept it for what it is, add on being a State Officer. You will have many, many things to do whether it be organizing sessions, Chapter visits, writing blog posts and Red Leader articles, social media posting upkeep, and even memorizing pages and pages of scripts for State Leadership Conference in Lincoln.

To wrap it up

All of these solutions and words of advice may have seemed like a bunch of my random thoughts, but they were thoughts of real meaning. If any of you do decide to run for a State Office, you’ll learn on your own as well. Hey, it might even be fun for me to see any of you fail at certain things and make mistakes just like I am. It’s in those moments you fail that you learn how to fix them and be better than you were before. My State Officer Team, which you see in the picture below, has become part of my family, and I would not trade them for anything in the world. This feeling is a great feeling to have, one I can not possibly explain  in words. I hope any of you  will get to experience this on your own.

Group Cluster Edited


For more information about becoming a member of the Nebraska FCCLA State Officer Team, visit 

Leadership Opportunities