July 25-30, 2017 Washington D.C.
During July 2017, three FFA students and one FFA advisor packed up suitcases and travelled to the Sacramento airport on their way to attend one of the most exclusive and high-level conferences the FFA organization has to offer, The Washington Leadership Conference. Over a period of five days, 300 students from all over the nation gathered at the Omni Shoreham Hotel and experienced a conference that pushed them to grow as individuals, step out of their comfort zones, and trained them to become effective servant leaders. Students were not only encouraged to learn about service and team building, but they also developed a Living to Serve plan specific to their own communities that gave them directions on how to affect positive change in their hometowns. Conference attendees also were able to see many of the historical monuments and museums in D.C. during their visit as the importance of the monuments themselves was used to connect this concept to reality. Some of the monuments visited included the Lincoln Memorial, The Washington Monument, The World War 2 Memorial, The Korean War Memorial, The White House, and many more. Ponderosa FFA sent three members, Margaret Hammock, Elizabeth Bloxsom, and Alison Bayard. Their Living to Serve plans include providing a place for students who struggle with mental health problems to go and get support and decompress while at school, informing the community about ways to help students who suffer from debilitating life circumstances, and connecting students with the agriculture industry so that they are better prepared to enter the workforce after high school. It was an overall amazing experience and all attendees highly recommend the trip to any that can attend.