Every summer, hundreds of blue and gold jackets flood the hill of Washington, D.C. FFA members from across the country take part in the Washington Leadership Conference (WLC) in the nation’s capital to become engaged citizens and to make measurable positive differences in their communities. Getting from small-town USA to D.C. is never an easy process. And it doesn’t happen in a silo.
The Lakeview FFA Alumni and Supporters in Nebraska believe so strongly in the power of WLC that they take on the task of raising money for scholarships for their local chapter.
“We really think that one of our greatest natural resources in Nebraska is our youth,” says June Loseke, president of the alumni and supporters chapter. “We have to equip them with hands-on experiences to broaden their perspectives. Life-changing events like WLC follow them into adulthood and can help shape them into future leaders.”
Every year, these volunteers in Lakeview partner with the county fair to smoke meats, make sandwiches and raise funds for scholarships. With 100 percent of this financial support going back to the local FFA chapter, alumni members can support the full travel and registration to send five members to Washington, D.C., every summer.
“In order to maximize our volunteers’ limited time and resources, we found the right opportunity in our neighborhood,” Loseke says. “The fair is low input, people already attend, and it makes a natural connection to FFA members’ work.”
Whether you are an active member, an alumnus or a supporter, there are plenty of ways to get involved in the Washington Leadership Conference. Learn more at FFA.org/WLC.