Sixta at National Young Leaders Conference

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 03/04/97.

Julie Sixta, a junior at Paynesville Area High School, attended the National Young Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C., Feb. 4 to 9. The daughter of Cal and Terri Sixta, Paynesville, Julie was among 350 students taking part in the conference from across America.

The students heard the State of the Union Address by President Clinton and attended presidential group meetings to prepare for mock congress meetings. One part of the conference involved leadership skill-building activities where students assumed the role of president, members of cabinet, lobbiest, and more. ďThe mock congress was interesting. I was in caucus F and lobbying to change English as our common language instead of our official language. Once our version didnít pass, we voted against the bill. Many of us cheered when it did not pass and were cautioned this wasnít the Super Bowl,Ē Sixta said.

Among the embassys the students could visit were the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Slovak Republic.

Sixta had the opportunity to meet with the Senators from Minnesota, Paul Wellstone, Collin Peterson, and Rod Grams. ďGrams was trying to get on the House floor and his aides escorted me around and we met him for lunch in the cafeteria later,Ē she said. ďMany of them were rushed because they were in the middle of budget hearings.Ē

ďThe tour of the nationís capitol was excellent,Ē she said. ďWe see pictures of the Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, but being there was great.Ē

When asked what was a highlight of the conference, she said touring the capitol and added, meeting all the new people was fantastic. Her roommates were from California and when it snowed a little in Washington, Sixta went outside without a coat because the temperatures were mild compared to Minnesota. Her roommates were bundled up and complaining about how cold it was.

Sixta was kept busy from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily with meetings on Capitol Hill, Folger Shakespeare Library, Library of Congress, Pentagon, and Supreme Court. One meeting was at the National Press Club where she met Robert Franken, CNN, Jessica Lee, USA Today, Ann McFeatters, Scripps Howard News Service and Bill Plante, CBS News.

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