Hi, I’m Mikayla Fahey. I am in White Mountains Regional High School Spartans FCCLA. FCCLA is Family Community and Careers Leaders of America. Every year, FCCLA students have an opportunity to do a project and compete at the state competition.
My project was on Dementia. I went on-line to Google. I typed “Alzheimer’s for kids” and “dementia for teens”. I printed information from the websites. I highlighted information I wanted to put in my presentation. I made a display board. I wrote a 10 minute speech.
My Uncle Larry developed dementia 4 years ago. I wanted to understand what’s going on with him. My goal was to learn about dementia and teach family and friends about it. I learned there is no cure for dementia right now, but Doctors are working for a cure they hope will reduce the amyloid plaques (which they think causes dementia) using a vaccine. I learned Alzheimer’s disease can be a scary diagnosis for patients, their families, and especially children. I came up with some things kids can do to help people with dementia.. like clean the house, feed their pets or make their beds. I helped my Uncle Larry by telling him I love him, give him big hugs, make him breakfast and help him choose his clothes. My dream is to go into the medical field and find a cure for dementia. I want to do work on a clinical trial. One of the tests would be to repeat the words … house, cabin, spoon and count backwards from 100 to 7. To help me with my goal, I am taking Child Development and Financial Literacy classes this year in high school.
I won a silver medal at the NH FCCLA Spring Conference. I qualified to go the National FCCLA Competition in Nashville, Tennessee. Our trip started on July 5th at 5:00am. Wow, it was so early! Mom and I drove to Manchester Airport to meet my FCCLA teammates, Jillian McCreedy and Emily Cook and our Advisors Mrs. Laroche and Mrs. LeBlanc. On the airplane I listened to music and played Doctor with my Mom. We arrived at the hotel about 1:00pm. We all walked to Logan’s Roadhouse to eat. When we came out it was pouring rain, so we got really wet.
That afternoon we took a shuttle to the Conference Center at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. It was so beautiful and big. Mom and I walked down the big staircase like we were Queens greeting our people.
On Tuesday, I got really nervous. My stomach was upset. My presentation time was at 11:30am. I carried my display board and set it up in front of the judges. I felt calmer. The judges were smiling and looking at me and listening to me. The judges asked me some questions and said they liked my presentation.
At the Closing Ceremony I got a GOLD MEDAL!!!! My Mom cried when I came off the stage. I felt happy and relieved. Everyone said things like “great job” and “congratulations”. I felt supported.
The last night of our stay we ate at Rainforest Café. I thought it was creepy because all the fake animals were noisy. The coconut covered shrimp was good.
One word to describe my experience was FUN. I enjoyed going to the Grand Ole Opry. My favorite part was hanging out with my friends and having a good time. I also learned a lot of new information by exploring the other student’s display boards. This gave me many ideas for next year’s project. I loved hanging out with my teachers and friends, and the most important person in my life, my Mom. It is a wonderful thing.
When I got home, my Dad had Welcome Home and Congratulations signs everywhere. He planned a surprise macaroni and cheese dinner. The local newspaper ran a story on me and my Spartan teammates. When Dad and I hiked up Mt. Prospect, a lot of people talked about seeing my in the paper and gave me hugs.