Paramount, CA – Paramount High School senior Max Chau has the confidence to one day run his own business after joining a leadership club that soon saw him develop an apple turnover enterprise. Chau went from knowing little about entrepreneurship to hiring employees, developing budgets and calculating return on investment.

Chau is one of nearly 20 PHS students who are learning vital career skills through the school’s Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) club. The after-school program is guiding young people as they learn to build startup businesses, websites, prepare for job interviews and strive for success after graduation.

“I feel like the club has really showed me new career paths and opportunities for me to pursue,” Chau said. “I’m definitely a much more well-rounded person who feels comfortable in more areas of life because of FCCLA.

The FCCLA focuses on character development, creative and critical thinking, interpersonal communication, practical knowledge and career preparation. Students meet weekly and work on projects that they critique together. Projects feature environmental challenges, food safety and child development training.

“Our FCCLA students are being exposed to so many facets of life that will help them develop into strong leaders in the community,” Paramount USD Superintendent Dr. Ruth Pérez.

“They are learning new tools that are building their confidence and enhancing their growth.”

Select members of Paramount’s FCCLA attended the annual FCCLA National Leadership Conference in summer in Atlanta, where students from across the country competed in 30 events.

Chau worked alongside classmate Giselle Rios to earn a top gold distinction in the website building event.

“It was really eye opening to be amongst students from all over the U.S. and learn from them,” Rios said. “FCCLA challenges me to move beyond what I’m comfortable with and helps me to become a better leader.”

The trip also served as a great cultural experience for the students who visited the Martin Luther King Jr. museum and Centennial Olympic Park.

“Opportunities like the annual FCCLA National Leadership Conference help our children to dream well beyond Paramount,” PUSD Board President Carmen Gomez said. “We constantly tell our students to think big so it’s nice to show them just how big the world is.”


121918_PARAMOUNT_FCCLA: Paramount High School’s Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) club allows students to explore potential careers through hands-on projects and competitions.