Learning to do, doing to learn, earning to live, living to serve. This is the National FFA Organization’s Motto. All FFA members live by this motto, and strive to make their lives better by following these four simple phrases. This past week eight exceptional FFA members from the Rushville FFA Chapter had the opportunity to attend the Washington Leadership Conference, WLC, along with 300 other FFA members from around the country. This conference strives to build leadership and character through community service.
The group traveled by train and left Sunday, June 7, from the train station in Connersville. After 18 long hours, they finally reached their destination, Washington D.C. The rest of the night consisted of resting.
On Monday the group visited many sites that the city has to offer. The list included: The National Archives, the American History Smithsonian, Fords Theater where President Lincoln was assassinated, and wrapped up their day by taking a trip on the metro to Old Alexandria to take in some of the local cuisine.
On Tuesday the students boarded a boat and traveled to Mount Vernon. Mount Vernon is George Washington’s estate. The groups spent the day touring this historical site. After they returned to D.C., it was time to begin the conference. All eight students then had the opportunity to meet their three roommates. These roommates were randomly selected, and were not from the state of Indiana. The first night of the conference consisted of getting to know new people, and meeting their community groups.
On Wednesday the students of the conference attended many sessions in which they learned about citizenship and all the needs that people have around this world. They discussed these needs with their community groups, and began to think about how they can change this. The day was wrapped up with a poverty dinner. During this dinner, students were divided and put in the shoes of lower class people, middle class people, and upper class citizens. The upper class received full treatment and got to eat a three course meal. The middle class got to eat a meal from the buffet. But majority of the students in the room had to share a bowl of rice with 8 people around them. This signified the lower class. Cody Dawson, a student that attended the conference said, “it opened my eyes and showed me that the world isn’t what it seems. There are people out there that don’t have all the things that we take for granted.”