MANHATTAN, KS – The Kansas FFA Foundation Board of Trustees invites individuals across the state to celebrate National FFA Week by promoting and supporting participation in the Washington Leadership Conference.
Created in 1969 and held annually in Washington, D.C., this conference provides the opportunity for students to undergo comprehensive leadership training. Through this five-day event, students analyze their personal skills and interests, develop leadership skills, and create a community service plan that will make a meaningful difference in their home communities.
During their time in D.C., students also experience the history of the nation’s capital, touring landmarks including the Washington Monument, War Memorial, the National Mall, Arlington National Cemetery and the U.S. Capitol, among others. Students also have the opportunity to promote agricultural education and meet and interact with their legislators through congressional visits during the week.
Kansas FFA President Elizabeth Meyer, attended the Washington Leadership Conference in 2014. “WLC was an impactful experience that allowed me to focus on diversity, service, and growth. The skills I gained and friendships I developed made the conference irreplaceable.”
For Jim Borgerding, from the Marysville FFA Chapter, the “Washington Leadership Conference was one of my top ten experiences in FFA. It put a lot of the key aspects of leadership into perspective for me which allowed me to grow as a leader and as a person.”
“I really loved meeting new people not only from around the state, but the country as well. As a result of WLC, I also discovered confidence within me,” according to Madeline Meier from the Goessel FFA Chapter.
For Taylor Mall from the Clay Center FFA Chapter, “attending the Washington Leadership Conference was definitely the highlight of my summer. I was able to gain knowledge about being a better leader, explore our nation’s capital, and get to know FFA members from across the country. My favorite part was when we got to package meals for people who wouldn’t be able to afford it by themselves. Our goal was to package 50,000 meals and we exceeded our goal in just over an hour! It’s amazing what can be accomplished if you’re working with others who share the same passion as you. I love this organization and what it stands for!”
Today, this once in a lifetime trip costs approximately $1,400, including airfare. For many students, cost is the only barrier preventing them from being able to attend the conference. The Kansas FFA Foundation is asking individuals to consider donating to their individual giving campaign to assist Kansas FFA members in raising the funds to attend the Washington Leadership Conference. All funds collected by the Kansas FFA Foundation will be distributed to 2017 WLC participants selected via a grant application process. Grant applications from Kansas FFA members will be due March 15.
The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The Kansas FFA Foundation supports this mission of youth leadership development through stipends, scholarships, and grants to attend trainings and conferences. To learn more about the Kansas FFA Foundation’s Strategic Plan and opportunities to donate today, visit www.ksffafoundation.org.