By Lauren Roberts
Last week, Trenton FFA members Adam Smith, Makenzie Smith, Lauren Roberts and advisor Ashley Thoron traveled to Washington D.C. to attend the Washington Leadership Conference hosted by the National FFA Organization to learn about servant leadership. On their first morning they paid their respects to those who had died fighting for our freedom at the Arlington National Cemetery and witnessed the changing of the guards located in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. They also went on a night tour of the Washington Monument, World War II, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and Martin Luther King Jr. Memorials. After this, the students deeply reflected on the lives and sacrifices of our country’s great leaders.
On the next day, they focused on our nation’s current leadership in the legislative and executive offices. The students toured the Capitol Building to meet with Representative Neal Dunn and Representative Ted Yoho, who challenged the members to never place limits on what they can do or achieve in life. In addition to this meeting, they were also privileged to attend a tour of the White House in which many are denied access. They felt the experience as remarkable and surreal to walk through the rooms our Presidents lived in while serving our great nation.
The week was filled with learning, especially while visiting the museums in D.C. They visited three of the seventeen Smithsonian Institution which included the National Museum of Natural History, American History, and the National Zoo. The students’ favorite museum was the interactive Newseum that promotes free expression and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The 9/11 exhibit that featured the antenna of the World Trade Tower and the Berlin Wall both served as a testament of the hardships our nation and world has endured.
On the final day of the conference, the 340 high school students in attendance came together to pack meals for those who are homeless in the D.C. area. Also, each student left the Capitol having created a community service project of their own. The week was described as a once in a lifetime experience as the group was extremely fortunate for the opportunity to visit many historical places, build friendships from students across the nation, and truly learn what the phrase “Living to Serve” means.
Trenton FFA goes to Washington D.C.
By Lauren Roberts