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Paul D. West Middle School Students Take Gold at FCCLA Competition

Melanie and Irma Morales Melanie and Irma Morales, former Paul D. West Middle students are no strangers to winning. After competing in the Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) competition, the sisters advanced from a state competition to the national level. The national competition was held in Anaheim, CA. The Morales sisters competed in the category of National Programs in Action and won for their "Making a Difference in Our Community" project. They brought home the gold.

Melanie Morales, now a rising 9th grader at Tri-Cities High School and her sister Irma, a rising 7th grader at Paul D. West Middle School, were supported in their quest for Gold by Angela Wilborn, FCCLA Adviser at Paul D. West. Their project included raising funds to feed two Paul D. West families over the Christmas break, a canned food drive, and fundraising to feed six families in May prior to school closing.

The Morales sisters, who come from a family of twelve, had never been on an airplane before when they boarded for California in June. "Opportunities are when exposure exists and you allow yourself to get out of your comfort zone while continuously persevering and trying harder to beat the odds," said Wilborn.

To fund their trip of a lifetime, the Morales sisters sold candy and ice cream at Paul D. West after school. Paul D. West is a 100% Title 1 school, which means that every student receives free breakfast and lunch. Many students are also from transient and low-income homes.