Families First/Japanese Exchange

Families First


The FCCLA Families First national peer education program through which youth gain a better understanding of how families work and learn skills to become strong family members. Its goals are to: help youth become strong family members and leaders for today and tomorrow and strengthen the family as the basic unit of society.


Families First Units:

To help members focus their projects, Families First offers five units. Members may complete projects in one or several units. There is no particular order to them; although, “Families Today” might be a good place to start. It covers topics that provide a general overview of families and related issues:

  • Families Today – Understand and celebrate families
  • You-Me-Us – Strengthen family relationships
  • Meet the Challenge – Overcome obstacles together
  • Balancing Family and Career – Manage multiple responsibilities
  • Parent Practice – Learn to nurture children.


FCCLA offers national recognition to chapters that complete Families First projects. This hon0r includes cash awards and special recognition at the National Leadership Conference online, and in Teen Times magazine. Chapters apply online for recognition for their hard work and innovative projects with the National Families First Program Award Application.

  • High School Award — $1,000
  • Middle School Award — $1,000
  • Runner-Up Award — $500


Deadline: Families First Applications must be submitted online to FCCLA national headquarters by March 1. The online award system will automatically close March 1, 11:59 p.m. EST. 


Project Component Areas:

Families Today: Understand and celebrate families

  • Definitions of Family
  • Families roles in society
  • Types of family


You- Me-Us: Strengthen Family Relationships

  • Communication
  • Family councils
  • Family traditions


Meet the Challenge: Overcome obstacles together

  • Conflict management
  • Domestic violence
  • Living in a step family


Balancing Family and Career: Manage multiple responsibilities

  • Child care
  • Work of the family
  • Balancing school, work and family


Parent Practice: Learn to nurture children

  • Child abuse prevention
  • Child care
  • Parenting skills


Japanese Exchange  ( As part of Families First, Members also might apply for the Japanese Exchange Program)


Members can also experience other cultures and family relationships through Japanese Exchange, sponsored by Kikkoman Corporation. Members who are sophomores or juniors can apply for a Japanese Exchange Scholarship to spend four- to six-weeks as an exchange student with a Japanese host family.


Japanese Exchange is a scholarship opportunity for FCCLA members to travel to Japan for four-to-six weeks as an exchange student. This scholarship is funded by the Kikkoman Corporation, administered by Youth For Understanding USA. Scholarships are worth more than $6,995 each.

The FCCLA Japan Exchange Scholarship is administered by Youth For Understanding USA (YFU USA), a non-profit international exchange organization. Based on the premise that international understanding can be achieved through individuals, the program emphasizes family living as the core of the overseas learning experience. The opportunity to experience the day-to-day life of another country and its people enhances students’ awareness of international issues.

Don’t miss your opportunity to live in Japan next summer with a Japanese host family. You can be one of 14 FCCLA members selected to experience a Japanese tea ceremony, traditional Japanese foods, or climb up Mount Fuji with a Japanese brother or sister. It will be a summer you will never forget.

The Japanese Exchange Scholarship includes:

  • round-trip international travel
  • round-trip domestic travel
  • placement with a carefully selected host family
  • regional orientation for scholarship recipients and parents
  • three-day Japan specific orientation at the beginning of the program
  • support services in Japan


To apply for the Japanese Exchange Scholarship the applicant’s birthday must fall between April 2, 1994 and April 2, 1997. The scholarship application is located on Youth For Understanding – USA website. To print the application, click on the “American Students” tab of the YFU USA webpage. Select “scholarships” from the menu on the left. Scroll down to locate the “FCCLA/Kikkoman” scholarship.

You may submit the application electronically; or print and mail the completed application along with the FCCLA Application Supplement Form postmarked by TBD to:

Youth For Understanding – USA
6400 Goldsboro Road
Bethesda, MD 20817
fax:  (240) 235-2174

**Please note, all applicants must complete and submit the FCCLA Supplement Form with their application.**