Hey y’all, I just wrapped up the coolest experience of my life! In May of 2021 at the completion of my State FFA Officer term I was slated to be Oklahoma’s National FFA Officer Candidate. After stepping into this role it meant I spent much time preparing for the extensive process that occurs at the National Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. This process looks like a series of interviews, speeches, workshop facilitation segments, a virtual round and more, all to determine the six members who have the once and a lifetime chance to represent FFA on the national level. I arrived in Indianapolis to start this experience on Oct. 22 where I then completed “Phase One” of interviews and an extemporaneous speech for the weekend before cuts are made to separate finalists from the non-advancing candidates. On the night of Oct. 25 I received a letter that contained the bolded word “Congratulations,” amongst other sentences that in that moment were a blur, overall meaning I was moving onto Phase Two to keep competing in the process. For the next few days I had the chance to keep showing off my skill, create relationships with fellow candidates, explore the city of Indianapolis, and even go on stage to announce my candidacy. All of this led to the final session of convention, session seven, with the announcement of the newly elected team. Though it has already been a week, I still remember that vivid feeling of the loud music vibrating through my body, the bright strobe lights, and the nervous jitters. I also remember the feeling of not hearing your name called and the feeling in the bottom of your stomach when you don’t reach one of your dreams. I say this not for pity, I say this because serving as a national officer candidate is an honor and it was a growing experience. When I was an eighth grader I heard the term “YOGOWYPI,” say that five times fast, silly right? It stands for “You only get out what you put in.” I put in my whole heart to the FFA and in return the FFA has provided me with opportunities, friendships, and memories that could never be forgotten. Though I will never forget the feeling of standing in the front row of the floor seating with thousands of blue and gold jackets behind me and a handful of people waiting for my name to be called, I too could never forget all that I gained from the process. Knowledge about myself and the agricultural industry, late nights with friends running around the Indiana Convention Center, coloring books and lots of Panera soup, plus a whole lot of support that created an incredible week.
If you too are going through a season like mine of growth, heartbreak, and self identification, I encourage you to draw near to Galatians 6:9. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for in due time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
-Agvocate in Action, KC