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FFA students attend Washington Leadership Conference

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013 1:34 p.m. CST

Two members from Osceola Big Chief FFA Chapter were given the opportunity to attend a leadership conference in Washington, D.C., this summer. Dusty Willke and Jake Manternach were among a group of Iowa students who took a flight to the nation’s capital during the week of June 18-23. During the five-day event, students learned how to become effective leaders by teaching them to know their purpose, value people, take action and serve others.

The conference had many activities that made the students reflect on their life. One activity was the poverty meal. The group of about 250 students were separated and were fed different types of meals based on the economic status that you were given.

People who were given poverty level had to share one bowl of rice with four people. It made them think of what they have and what they take for granted. The conference showed them the problems the world is facing from malnutrition and starvation to abuse and neglect.

The conference also taught them how to advocate and raise awareness in their own communities. On the last day, the group participated in a service project. The project was to put together school-supply packages for less fortunate students in the Washington, D.C., area.

The group also got the chance to visit the monuments around the city. The group from Iowa stayed an extra day in the nation’s capital and went to the Smithsonian Museum, Botanical Garden and Holocaust Museum.

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