Holmes wins Gold at FCCLA Nationals


David Durgan

Holmes competed in Life Event Planning this summer in California

This summer, while everyone else was relaxing and enjoying their vacation, Gabe Holmes was hard at work on his FCCLA project, preparing for nationals.  He was rewarded for his work, earning a gold medal.  Holmes competed in life event planning, and his project was planning a surprise party for his best friend.  In FCCLA competitions, a rubric is followed, and students compete against themselves to improve their score and achieve a perfect score.

Holmes was the only Park High student to qualify for nationals, and he earned a week-long trip to Anaheim California, during which he visited Disneyland twice. He also attended various FCCLA sessions and events.

“I only had to present for five minutes out of the whole week,” Holmes said.  He estimates he probably spent a total of two weeks working on his project.  “The hardest part of doing a project is management, specifically time.” He said. Holmes brought his mother and sister as well, because his older sister Bray is a former FCCLA chapter president.

Nationals began June 30, and ended on July 5.  Holmes received his recognition on July 3.  At FCCLA nationals, 8,000 kids compete in 32 star categories.  The star categories include events such as life event planning, culinary arts, focus on children, and fashion design.

Holmes earned a 96/100 at the State competition, and a 98/100 at Nationals.   He estimates about 20-25 medals are given out each year for the state of Montana.  Holmes is not the first student to bring back a gold medal, Avery Montgomery and Emily Quillen earned one in 2017 in life event planning as well.

FCCLA is not the only club Holmes is a part of.  He is also a member of the green initiative, student council, jazz band, and zero-hour choir.  Holmes wants to encourage other students to join FCCLA.  “There are so many possibilities with it,” Holmes said.  He added that it promotes growth and leadership, and he has gained a lot of self-confidence from it.