Kelsey Knutson, a senior at Lee’s Summit North High School, participated in the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America Legislative Shadowing Project Feb. 20 with Allison Brown, the chapter advisor who accompanied her to Jefferson City.
Sponsored by the Missouri Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, 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 13th year, is conducted by Missouri FCCLA, the Career and Technical Student Organization for family consumer sciences education. A dinner banquet, sponsored by The Missouri Bar, was held for participants Feb. 19. Tours of the Governor’s Mansion and State Capitol 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.
Knutson shadowed Representative Gary Cross. She had fun “chatting” with him about life back in Lee’s Summit, his daily tasks, and aspects of law that he was passionate about. She learned that someday she may find herself in his shoes, representing his hometown with honor.
FCCLA is a nonprofit student organization for young men and women, grades 6-12, in family consumer sciences education. Missouri FCCLA has more than 11,500 members in 353 local chapters, making it the fifth-largest FCCLA state association in the nation.