Sacramento Leadership Experience

Ben Shinkwin
California FFA’s premier capstone conference, individuals and teams are prepared to make things happen. Skills for solving problems, making decisions and accomplishing goals are developed. Students step into the role of one of California's State legislators, are assigned a specific California district and spend four days in Sacramento. SLE is all about the role of government, agricultural policy and advocacy. Our own Ben Shinkwin, Senior, was selected to attend SLE. 
From March 5th through the 8th I was selected to attend the Sacramento Leadership Experience (SLE) through California FFA. This conference is only held for seniors and the top 75 applicants who apply. When we arrived, we hit the ground running with three counselors working on government legislative procedures, hearing keynote speakers everyday at lunch and throughout the day, visiting and experiencing the state capital, including our actual local state officials, and finally having the opportunity to meet some of the top CA Agriculture industry leaders. All 75 of us proud FFA members were truly honored to be there and having the chance to grow closer with everyone was an amazing experience as we all began to end our high school and FFA careers and move onto the next chapter in our lives. This conference was like no other conference in FFA that I have attended. The work was rigorous and the intellectual mindsets were set at a high standard throughout the week. The 75 attendees were split into political parties and separated on either the senate or assembly floor. Throughout the last two days we worked on our mock bills, learned how to lobby, and was taught how government truly works. Using official language and rules such as parliamentary procedure and professional ethics at all time, it was truly unique. As the last session was concluded on Friday afternoon the entire group stood on the steps and listened to our call to action from our counselors to never stop progressing in our goals and while life may take a turn, we must stay rooted in our faith and in our passions. SLE was one experience I will never forget along with the memories and friendships that will last for many years to come.