Lord Botetourt FFA member Faith Settle attended the National FFA Washington Leadership Conference (WLC) last week and returned excited to share the details of the impactful experience. WLC is a week-long premier leadership event offered by the National FFA organization in the nation’s capital. Throughout the conference, 370-170 FFA members (per week) from across the U.S. worked together with national leaders and legislators to learn how to become effective leaders, take action, and serve others. Aside from focused large and small group sessions each day, attendees enjoyed trips into the city, touring historical monuments and museums and learning about our past leaders.
Faith said the most memorable session of the conference for her was the day four-session, Diversity, where she got to experience someone else’s life from overseas, who lived in a small income home who only made $2 a day. Last week, 173 members were able to pack 52,224 meals for Meals of Hope, write 87 cards to hospitalized kids, decorate 205 bags for Meals on Wheels, and write 80 thank you letters to FFA supporters. In total of all seven weeks of WLC, members were able to pack 425,088 meals for Meals of Hope, write 908 cards to hospitalized kids, decorate 1094 bags for Meals on Wheels, and write 950 thank you letters to FFA supporters.

“It was hard and fast work, and I’m amazed about how many meals we had packed in less than a few hours. It felt good giving back to the community,” Faith said. She added that she also enjoyed meeting and making connections with members from all over the country who all have similar and different ideas, interests, and goals.
One of the main focuses of the conference was to lead and encourage the FFA members to identify a need and take action in their own communities by carrying out their Living to Serve project plans. Faith said that her Living to Serve project idea is to work with her school administration to get pollinator plants incorporated into their landscaping outside the school as well as provide her chapter with more community service opportunities. “I feel creating a pollinator garden on the school grounds will impact the community by making the school look nicer and cleaner,” Faith said.
Faith also said that her experience at WLC will be beneficial to her and the Lord Botetourt FFA officer team as she hopes to run for another office for the upcoming year. After graduation in spring of 2020, Faith plans to attend Virginia Western Community College, then transfer to Ferrum University for a degree in Environmental Science in order to pursue a career as a biologist under the Soil Conservation Service. Being at WLC gave her the tools needed to start getting involved with her home community and the skills to work with others through everyone’s differences and similarities.

“WLC gave me and other FFA members the knowledge to be impactful leaders in our FFA chapters, schools, and communities. It’s something I will never forget,” Faith said.

 

 

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