From left: Caleb Graven, Cali Smith, Rep. Bennie Cook and Lily Johnson. Credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO

Houston High School seniors Cali Smith and Lily Johnson, and Cabool senior Caleb Graven, participated in the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) Legislative Shadowing Project on Wednesday, March 1, in Jefferson City.

Maegan Bell (Houston FCS educator) and Elizabeth Walls (Cabool FCS educator) are the local chapter advisers who accompanied the students. 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 23rd year, is conducted by Missouri FCCLA, the Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO) for family consumer sciences and human services education. A reception and opening session was held for participants on Tuesday, Feb. 28, in which Sen. Karla Eslinger was the guest speaker. Tours of the state capitol, Governor’s Mansion and Missouri Supreme Court building also were provided. 

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 citizens.

FCCLA attempts to match students with officials from their local school districts wherever possible. The students prepare for the event by becoming familiar with their official’s responsibilities and current issues. If matched with a legislator, the student becomes knowledgeable about the bills introduced and committees on which the legislator serves.  

FCCLA is a nonprofit student organization for young men and women, grades 6-12, in family consumer sciences education (FCS). Missouri FCCLA has more than 8,416 members in nearly 276 local chapters.

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