Local student gains leadership skills at FCCLA training

Waconia High School student Kaija Kottke recently spent time in Washington, D.C. at a FCCLA training event. (Submitted Photo)

Kaija Kottke, a student, at Waconia High School, recently returned from the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America’s (FCCLA) Capitol Leadership, held Sept. 29- Oct. 2, in Washington, D.C.
Kottke is a member of Waconia Senior High FCCLA and serves as the Waconia Senior High President and Minnesota FCCLA State Secretary. She had the opportunity to participate in the Expert Advocate concentration of the FCCLA Leadership Academy. This powerful leadership development program focuses on networking, professionalism, public relations, strategic planning, advocacy and more. Capitol Leadership attendees also had the opportunity to participate in a service learning project in Washington, D.C.
In addition, all participants of Capitol Leadership visited their Congressional representatives to discuss the importance of funding Career and Technical Education through the Carl D. Perkins Act to support areas such as nutrition education in schools. Kottke went to Capitol Hill and met with Keith Ellison and Collin Peterson and both of their staffs.
To start of the Capital Training, each FCCLA member attended the Leadership Banquet where etiquette was learned along with making connections with different advisors and members. Some of the most beneficial information learned was about how to neutralize information, especially during the government shutdown.
Before heading to the Capital Hill, the Leadership Training Team held mock interviews in which each trainer presented a different possible attitude a Congressional Member could have and after each interview, FCCLA members were given feedback on how to improve upon the interview. Meeting with congressional members helped to prepare for future interviews whether it is a job or college interview. Besides training, members gained close knit friendships with strong leaders all across the nation.
FCCLA: The Ultimate Leadership Experience is a dynamic and effective national student organization that helps young men and women become leaders and address important personal, family, work, and societal issues through Family and Consumer Sciences Education. FCCLA has 200,000 members and more than 5,500 chapters from 50 state associations and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The organization has involved more than ten million youth since its founding in 1945.
Family, Career and Community Leaders of America is unique among youth organizations because its programs are planned and run by members.  It is the only career and technical in-school student organization with the family as its central focus. Participation in national programs and chapter activities helps members become strong leaders in their families, careers, and communities.