CHS students participate in FCCLA legislative shadowing project
Cassville FCCLA members, Kaylyn Bryant, Coleman Hoppes and Laura Stringer participated in the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) Legislative Shadowing Project on Wednesday, Feb.1.
Samantha Cosper, local high school chapter advisor, accompanied the students to the capitol city. Sponsored by the Missouri Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), the program provides an opportunity for junior and senior high school students to spend a day with their state representative, senator, or other public official at the State Capitol. The students observe hearings, meetings and other public duties. The Legislative Shadowing Project, now in its 17th year, is conducted by Missouri FCCLA, the Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO) for family consumer sciences and human services education.
A dinner banquet, sponsored by the Missouri Bar, and was held for the participants on Tuesday, Jan. 31. Tours of the Governor's Mansion, State Capitol and Supreme Court building were also offered as part of the program. The Legislative Shadowing Project allows students to connect their interests in law, public service, civic issues and the political process with their education. The event is designed to help students develop a better understanding of the political process and its impact on the citizens. FCCLA attempts to match students with an official from their local school districts wherever possible. The students prepare for the event by becoming familiar with their officials responsibilities and current issues. If matched with a legislator, the student becomes knowledgeable about the bills introduced and committees on which the legislator serve.
Cassville FCCLA members spent their day shadowing Senator David Sater and Representative Scott Fitzpatrick. When asked about the experience, Coleman Hoppes said, “I witnessed the importance of networking and making connections with others. FCCLA places value on developing interpersonal communication skills. While shadowing Senator Sater, I witnessed him interacting with other legislators and his constituents. Good communication and fostering positive relationships with those individuals was an essential part of his day-to-day actions. I was able to truly understand why FCCLA places importance on this; it was a very valuable lesson for me as a leader.”
Kaylyn Bryant said, “Legislative Shadowing showed me that I do have an interest in politics. It also showed me how important it is to use your voice to advocate for what is important to you. For our legislators to be able to serve their constituents, we have to be willing to let them know what we want and need.”
FCCLA is a nonprofit student organization for young man and women, grades six-12, in family consumer sciences education. Missouri FCCLA has more than 9,500 members in nearly 330 local chapters, making it the fifth largest FCCLA state association in the nation. The group is led by FCCLA Advisor Samantha Cosper.