The Odessa Record -

Credit 2 Kids awards go to Odessa FBLA


--Courtesy photos.

FBLA members of the Odessa High School freshman class hold a check for $2,500 for their first-place finish in the Credit 2 Kids program.

The nine seniors at Odessa High School who are also members of the school's FBLA chapter have won the Credit 2 Kids award after being nominated by their adviser Terri King.

King wrote that the students had made a tremendous impact on the Odessa community and set a high standard for the rest of the school. Academically, they were all outstanding students with a combined grade-point average of 3.75. As part of the FBLA organization, they grew into leaders and community activists. Competing against thousands of students, they placed in the top eight in several events at the national FBLA conference. They worked hard and were commited to achieving success. They also served as mentors to the rest of the FBLA chapter members, demonstrating how to be a class act. They represented the school and community with pride. They worked hard, played hard, were enthusiastic and would make any situation a fun experience.

For the past two years, these nine students have led the chapter as it participated in two major service projects, one which allowed it to win the Lead2Feed Challenge. As a result the chapter donated $25,000 to the 2nd Harvest Food Bank, $12,500 to Okanogan's Long-Term Recovery Group and $12,500 to the Odessa Fire Department. It also won and donated $30,000 in laptops and iPads to the Odessa elementary school. The chapter won these awards because of service projects in which the students and other volunteers cooked and delivered 1,500 meals to the Mt. Tolman Fire Center in September of 2015 and raised more than $12,000 to sponsor a backpack program at the Odessa schools to feed 40-60 children every weekend.

"They never stop," said King. "They are currently working to establish long-term support of our community swimming pool and a coat drive for winter. With their leadership, the chapter has used their technology skills to make signs, mailers, fliers, auction programs and videos for almost every organization in Odessa."

These students have set up, torn down, cleaned up and put away tables, benches and tents for Deutschesfest, Odessa's annual celebration of its ethnic German heritage. They have catered events for the hospital, chamber of commerce and alumni association.

King added, "These nine leaders are making big things happen, and they are taking our whole community with them."

Credit 2 Kids is a program established between the Spokane Teachers Credit Union (STCU) and the KREM 2 television news station to highlight students who are performing good work in their communities.

Throughout the year, the two organizations give away $500 prizes to students and student organizations involved in public service activities. A $5,000 grand prize is presented to one of the most deserving winners at the end of the school year.

Previous Credit 2 Kids winners share a common bond of dedication to their schools and communities. They often have a great deal of volunteer and school leadership experience and have a positive influence on their fellow students. Being nominated empowers students to continue good works and reinforces the idea that one person can make a difference.

STCU picks all Credit 2 Kids winners from nominations received through their website at Nominations for the current school year are open until the end of May.

Senior class FBLA members hold a check for $500 from the Spokane Teacher's Credit Union, won for their outstanding leadership skills.

Spokane Teacher's Credit Union made a second visit to Odessa High on Monday to announce that Odessa HS FBLA had won the Hundred Dollar Project with their Toasty Tot campaign. In all, 14 schools competed and over 4,600 votes were casted, but in the end, Odessa's Toasty Tot video and the community's votes helped secure first place. The $2,500 check was presented to freshmen FBLA members by Marcee Hartzell, Community Relations Director for STCU. FBLA members then presented the check to Lindsy Starkel who represented their chosen charitable organization, Odessa's Friends of the Pool.

"We are all winners when our children are toasty warm and the Odessa Pool receives a $2,500 check. Odessa supported this project by purchasing the 100 decorated pumpkins and then having friends and family from all over the nation vote for Odessa's Toasty Tot project, " said King. A video of the presentation can be seen on YouTube by searching Odessa HS FBLA STCU $100 Project or going to the link


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