Rigby High School student Madelyn Wahlen placed first in leadership at the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) 2019 National Leadership Conference.

Jessica Wahlen, FCCLA adviser and Madelyn’s mother, said it is unusual for students in the state to place first or even in the top 10 at the national competition.

“She’s actually the only one in Idaho in the past five years that’s placed that high,” Wahlen said.

As part of that win, Madelyn is receiving a scholarship of $400 to attend a leadership conference at the College of Missouri in 2020.

“I wasn’t expecting to receive the scholarship,” she said. “But it was really awesome to know that all the hard work that I put into the project was awarded.”

Kylie Wickam, also a sophomore, placed in the top 10 in the job interview category, which Wahlen said was another significant and unusual accomplishment for an Idaho student.

Three other students in the district made it to the FCCLA nationals, meaning each took first at the district and state level competitions. Jesi Kelly, Annette Furniss and Ausha Covert all took silver at the national competition. Jesi and Annette’s projects each dealt with costs associated with event or life activities planning and Ausha’s project focused on a review of the FCCLA chapter year.

“I’m excited they worked hard,” Jessica Wahlen said.

Wahlen also received the National Spirit of Advising Award, which is granted to one adviser per state. It is awarded to “FCCLA advisers who demonstrate excellence in modeling FCCLA character to help students achieve success within their classroom and career,” according to an FCCLA press release. Wahlen said she felt honored to receive the award.