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Student-led organizations seek more than $2 million to prep schoolkids for future careers

Career and technical student organizations aren’t your typical after-school club. These organizations foster student engagement in career and technical education programs for over 25,000 students across Minnesota.

Rep. Mary Frances Clardy (DFL-Inver Grove Heights) sponsors HF1761 to provide a $316,000 increase in each year of the 2024-25 biennium, so these organizations can continue to develop life skills and open career pathways for students.

The total appropriation would be almost $2.17 million in the upcoming biennium for six student organizations and the Minnesota Foundation for Student Organizations.

Organizations that would receive funding are: Future Farmers of America; DECA Inc.; Family, Career and Community Leaders of America; Business Professionals of America; Skills USA; and HOSA – Future Health Professionals.

“These programs work,” Clardy said. “We need to have everything out there that children can engage with to be productive citizens.”

The House Education Finance Committee laid over the spending proposal Thursday for possible inclusion in an omnibus bill.

Several students testified about their positive experiences with these organizations.

“I knew from a young age that I wanted to enter health care. However, as a first-generation American with no connections or familial ties to health care, I was lost and didn’t know how to achieve this goal,” said Sivaani Anandkumar, a Shakopee High School senior and vice president of Minnesota HOSA.

She credits HOSA with providing the knowledge and guidance necessary to pursue her dream job.

Caleb Jarvis, the president of Minnesota DECA, struggled with shyness and lack of confidence when entering high school. He’s now grown his public speaking and communication skills “to a point I never thought imaginable” through business and marketing-based competitive events sponsored by DECA.

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