Kassidy Crossley Interview

Kassidy Crossley is a fourth-year FBLA member and senior at Odessa High School in Odessa, WA. Her team of 3 placed first in Community Service Project at the 2018 National Leadership Conference, completing a service project called Operation Lean On Us. She is a third-year FBLA officer in her chapter who completes all chapter challenges and awards and is competing in Business Financial Plan at the 2019 NLC. Kassidy agreed to sit down with Social Media Ambassador Matthew Werneken to answer a few questions regarding her competition experience with Community Service Project and to give advice to current FBLA members.


Why did you choose to compete in Community Service Project?

I chose to compete because I always enjoy giving back to my community. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so and give back through my competition, since that was already what I like to do!

Tell us about your team’s Community Service Project.

Sure! It was called Operation Lean On Us, and focused on the senior citizens of Odessa, WA, where we live. LEAN is an acronym standing for Loneliness, Exercise, Assistance and Nutrition, which were the aspects of senior citizen life that we focused on to fit the need we saw in the senior citizen community.

What were some of the major steps your team took as you were completing the project?

There were a lot of them! First of all, we had to get the school board on board with the project to allow us to go out to other homes during school hours, which isn’t a typical thing. After that major step, the biggest step was to be able to communicate with the senior citizens because they do not use the technology we do today. We went out of our comfort zone and talked to them a lot both face-to-face and through phone calls to communicate well.

What did your process for choosing a project look life?

It was a very long process with multiple ideas. The year before, our chapter did a project revolving around four seasons and one of those seasons they focused on senior citizens. I told my advisor that I would like to focus on senior citizens for the whole project, so we used the foundation of the last year’s project and worked it up to become Operation Lean On Us.

Why did you choose to compete with your team?

Our team made the whole process a lot smoother since there were a lot of parts that needed to be dealt with. Working with a team meant I could delegate tasks and split up the work so that we all had things to do.

In your process, did you have to frequently collaborate with other members of your chapter who were not on the team?

Yes, our whole chapter worked on the project with us! We organized and told them what to do and they helped by going out and doing all of the tasks that needed to be done or by getting supplies needed. We did this through an Excel sheet of things that needed to be done with names of chapter members assigned to each and when each member finished the task, they would check it off. After that, we would add them to a new task and keep posting the sheet to keep everything moving throughout the process. These tasks included cooking meals (over 500 freezer meals), playing games with seniors during their lunch hour, raking yards, running errands, helping seniors with technology, running the exercise class we put on for seniors, as well as other things seniors needed throughout.

In your opinion, what makes a winning Community Service project as Nationals?

Teamwork! It is important for all of your team is in it and for them to tell how passionate you are. Additionally, being able to focus on what your community really needs makes it meaningful for the judges to hear.

What grading criteria did your team have to focus on the most to succeed?

Definitely the implication of the project. We had to narrow that down and make sure every step to achieve that goal was present. The impact on us as individuals and as a chapter was also important for us to develop.

Do you have any advice on making an eye-catching presentation at the national level?

Lots of pictures, and not as many words. Through my four years in FBLA, I have noticed that judges get bored reading lots of words in a presentation. Animations, pictures, and transitions catch the judges’ eyes and make them more engaged.

What was your biggest learning experience from competing in Community Service Project?

Being able to work with all generations. We of course had to work with senior citizens, but also some younger kids to ask for help on tasks that needed completion. Being able to communicate differently than how we are used to doing so now was very eye-opening. Make sure you focus hard and don’t procrastinate or fret, and your presentation will come together in the end!

Thank you Kassidy!