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WHS freshmen heading to National Leadership Conference

Worthington High School freshmen Yesenia Cruz Sibran, Ariadne Barrera, Emily Flores, Mekdelawit Tilahun will be heading to the Laedership National Convection on July 1 in Nashville, Tenn,. along with Bonnie Bents, WHS family and consumer science teacher and the school’s FCCLA advisor. (Martina Baca / Daily Globe)

WORTHINGTON— Four Worthington High School freshmen will be heading to the National Leadership Conference on July 1 in Nashville, Tenn., to present their Family, Career and Community projects.

Ariadne Barrera, Emily Flores, Mekdelawit Tilahun and Yesenia Cruz Sibran qualified for the National Leadership Conference out of the 15 WHS students who attended the March 23 FCCLA Regional Convention in Bloomington.

“I haven’t had freshmen go to nationals before, nor have I had this many going to nationals before, so this is outstanding,” said Bonnie Bents, WHS family and consumer science teacher and the school’s FCCLA advisor.

Barrera, Flores and Cruz Sibran worked as a team to put together their project “The Right Look,” with which they reached out to local businesses and gathered input on the best ways to dress for a job interview. Tilahun picked a topic that complemented her passion for reading and the positive impact it has on children.

“I think we deserved it because we worked really hard,” Flores said. “Sometimes we stayed until 5 or 6 p.m. after school to work on the project.”

Cruz Sibran said she came up with the idea of the project after a friend and her were having doubts about what to wear for their first job interviews last November. Barrera also noted that they thought it was a fitting topic, as many students are starting to get into the workforce.

“Most of us are at the age of getting jobs, so we decided (on the project) since nobody knows how to dress for an interview because it’s their first job and it would be easier to inform everybody,” Barrera said.

Tilahun said she was inspired to do her project, “Reading to Children,” as a result of her volunteerism with the library since she was a fourth-grader and has reaving read to children countless times. Her project explores how reading helps the mental development of kids, as well as what kinds of books are best for kids.

“They have to be four minutes longer than the child’s age and it has to have an appropriate message,” Tilahun said. “It also has to have good illustrations that go with the story to keep the attention of the child while you’re reading to them.”

The three freshmen interviewed local clothing business owners to find out ways people can dress to impress their potential employers. Some of the tips include wearing conservative clothes, minimal makeup and good hygiene.

“I underestimate it (the way you dress for job interviews) because I always thought that it was not a big deal, but the more we learned about it … I realized it’s very important,” Flores said.

Barrera explained that to dress adequately for a job interview not only says a lot about yourself, but also how much you’re interested in getting the job.

“For me it’s important because you show you actually care about the job,” Barrera said. “If you go dressed rather slouchy, it shows that you don't have it as your priority, but if you go well-dressed they might see that you are actually trying to get the job.”

Bents said the convention is a great learning opportunity, as students will be listening to speakers on various topics and attend leadership workshops.

“They not only have the projects when they go to this convention but they also have leadership seminars and trainings,” Bents said. “They not only learn from doing their project, but also many other things through other activities while at the convention.”