Ryah Klima, a 2022 graduate of Concordia High School, played an important role in the recent JAG National Student Leadership Academy (NSLA) in Washington D.C. as president of the JAG National Career Association.
NSLA is an annual leadership experience for career association state officers – the local chapter leaders – from across the nation. As national president, Klima was responsible for facilitating the state leadership track, which was attended by Kansas’ current state officers. She introduced speakers at the Gala event that opened the conference. She said one of the biggest expectations of her is to interact with adults and students
“I learned a lot about how to effectively be present and active in a large group setting,” Klima said. “At NSLA in the past, I wasn’t super outgoing or anything. But this year, I feel like I talked to almost everyone at least once. As president, I think it’s important that I connect with both the students in attendance and the adult leaders of JAG to form good working relationships and foster open communication.”
Klima said she is still getting used to the responsibilities and expectations that come with the role of president.
“Sometimes I’m nervous I’ll do the wrong thing, and sometimes it can be a lot of work,” Klima said. “Overall, it’s incredibly important to me and I love doing it.”
One of the highlights for Klima came when she, along with the other members of the national leadership team, placed a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. Video can be seen here.
Kansas’ four student officers – President Nuru Abdallah, Wyandotte; Vice President Liberty Gilkey, Kiowa County; Secretary Hailee Black, Hutchinson; and Treasurer Ta’Mijha Nichols, Shawnee Heights – participated in the leadership training academy.
Among the many activities at NSLA, the Kansas students visited with four members of the Kansas congressional delegation. U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, U.S. Senator Jerry Moran, U.S. Representative Ron Estes, and U.S. Representative Tracey Mann, all met in their offices with the JAG-K students. U.S. Representatives Sharice Davids and Jake LaTurner are also supporters of JAG-K.
“NSLA is a great learning experience for our officers,” said Chuck Knapp, JAG-K President and CEO. “They meet with their fellow officers from other states, receive training to lead the Kansas career association, and have a lot of meaningful experiences. Meeting with their elected officials was a highlight, and the students appreciated not only the time spent, but the support each member of the delegation expressed for the students and JAG-K.”