From left: Gerardo Aguilar, Carlos Jaime, Ryiah Florence and Maleena Bracamonte


Four Lufkin High School students will be participating in Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) state competition in Dallas on March 30 through April 2. Gerardo Aguilar, Carlos Jaime, Ryiah Florence and Maleena Bracamonte will be competing in a variety of categories that showcase the diversity of talent in the FCCLA. Gerardo and Carlos will be competing in Job Interview while Ryiah will be in Fashion Construction and Maleena Culinary Mystery Basket.

“Job Interview is basically what it sounds like, the student will be judged on how they handle a mock job interview,” said Gerardo.

The difficult part is selecting a career, researching it, preparing a portfolio and dressing the part, all before walking in the door. Both Gerardo and Carlos currently have jobs, so they’ve been through an actual job interview before but the career choices they researched were marketing manager and beauty adviser. Both students are seniors and are looking forward to the state experience and possibly beyond.

“I selfishly want to compete and get top three so I can go to nationals,” Gerardo said.

“I really loved meeting new people at regionals,” Carlos said. “Meeting, competing – I loved it!”

Maleena Bracamonte will be competing in the culinary competition “Mystery Basket”. She compared it to the TV show Chopped.

“The competition is much like TV shows,” she said. “You have a set amount of time. They give you a protein and mystery ingredient. You have 15 minutes to prepare and 50 minutes to cook.

“I get really excited around the competition,” Maleena said. “The judges give their expertise and tips”

Maleena admits this is her first year in culinary and that she used to not be able to cook very much at all.

“I used to be horrible at cooking. I burned rice in the microwave,” Maleena said. “This is my first time taking culinary. I enjoy learning to use fresh ingredients.”

Ryiah Florence is competing in Fashion Construction. She created a blouse and trousers that she said have a lot of detail. She has to talk to the judges about the type of person who would wear her piece.

“I explain to them that this outfit would be for a businesswoman who is outgoing,” Ryiah said.

Gerardo said that Ryiah’s judge at regionals couldn’t find anything to critique her on about her outfit.

“Everything was perfect,” he said.

“I’m excited about showing the judges my outfit and I also like dressing up,” Ryiah said.

Congratulations to these outstanding and very talented students!