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Kittitas High School senior Jane Kratz was selected as one of two in the U.S. to represent the nation at a road safety conference in Sweden.

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A Kittitas High School senior has earned national recognition and a trip to Sweden.

Kittitas High School senior Jane Kratz will be one of two people in the U.S. to represent the United States at an international conference in Sweden. She’ll be presenting “U.S. road safety” to the World Youth Assembly, consisting of youth leaders from 90 different countries.

Kratz is a member of the Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). The FCCLA selected two of its members to represent the U.S. at the conference in Stockholm, the other member being Zack Love from Alabama.

Kratz is leaving for the conference on Feb. 15. She first applied for the trip through an online FCCLA application form. She was then selected as one of the few potential candidates for the trip and had to pass a video interview with FCCLA and a representative from Ford Driving Skills for Life, a division of the Ford Motor Company. Ford Driving Skills is one of many national FCCLA partners.

According to Kittitas FCCLA advisor Cheryl Ucelny, Kratz is extremely qualified for the position. She was the person who first told her that she had been accepted to go to the conference.

“It was pretty amazing, we got the email early Saturday morning, and typical teenager she was sleeping when I got the email. I was like ‘come on she has got to be waking up soon, she has got to be waking up soon!’” Ucelny said. “Finally I texted her and said ‘have you seen your email yet?’”

Ucelny is confident that Kratz is going to do great in Stockholm. They have been practicing for the last couple weeks and have been preparing for the conference in every way they can.

“I was super, super excited, I was in complete shock. Basically, super overwhelmed and couldn’t really process that I was actually selected, and it took a few days for it to sink in that I was actually going,” Kratz said.

She hopes to bring her experience of driving in a rural part of the U.S. to the conference, and help teens from across the globe drive safer in the less populated areas of their countries.

Kratz was chosen because of her participation in FCCLA, which she has been a member of for the last four years. She has been an FCCLA Washington State Officer for the last three years.

“It has been a huge honor, getting to represent Washington State FCCLA for the last three years,” Kratz said. “It has given me experience that’s going to help me for, basically the rest of my life. I have made lifelong friends and got to experience some really incredible opportunities through it.”

Kratz said the last couple of weeks have been her preparing herself mentally for the trip. As well as staying in communication with FCCLA and Love about what is expected of them when they arrive.

“I am really looking forward to meeting people from all over the world and connecting with them over similar issues that we all face in our own countries,” Kratz said. “Collaborating with those youth and probably making some new friends. When I return home, I will hopefully be going to California, Oregon and Washington State to teach a workshop about the information that I learned.”

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