Flashback with me to my freshman year in high school. It was a warm, sunny Tuesday morning when the bell rang during the first day of school. It was mid-day and I took my first step into the ag room as a student in Mrs. James’ exploring ag class. Mrs. James and I had met before because both of my older siblings were in FFA, but this was the first time we actually had the chance to get to know each other. The class period went on as a normal first day until Mrs. James came over to me at the end of class and said, “There is an FFA Meeting next week; you should come and check it out!” I always knew I wanted to join FFA because my entire family had been involved, but this just helped the cause.
The FFA meeting quickly approached the next week and you could find this shy, timid freshman kid in the back corner of the ag room waiting for the meeting to start. The meeting carried on as normal with reading reports, talking about new and old business and was followed by an activity. As the meeting and activity ended, Mrs. James, came over to me again and said, “Sam, you are going to do creed speaking.” I must of had the most terrified look on my face because she quickly followed that with, “It’ll be okay, I will help you!” This provided me comfort and as scared as I was, I agreed to compete in the creed speaking competition. This was just the start of the many events in FFA that have developed me into the person I am today.
After Mrs. James got me involved in the creed speaking competition. I soon joined the parliamentary procedure team, became a chapter officer, joined the general livestock team and continued to get involved in the FFA any way I could. These events have led me to where I am today, and that is all because Mrs. James saw something in me and knew I had something special to offer. She knew I was capable of something much greater than myself and invested her time into me in order for me to succeed. Without the help and drive of my ag teacher, I am not sure where I would be today.
Each of us have had our lives impacted my someone. For me, it was my ag teacher, Mrs. James, who impacted my life. Like Mrs. James, there is someone out there who instilled faith in you and found that you had something special to offer. They realized you have potential to do great things in life, and they wanted to push you to succeed. There is someone who has made a difference in your life and pushed you to become to the best person you can be! Do me a favor and tell that person thank you, because they are the reason why you are who you are today, and that is something to be proud of.
As my year of service come to a close, there are a lot of people who continue to make an impact. I want to thank the 10,500 Minnesota FFA members for all you have done. Thank you for impacting my life this past year. I am blessed to have had this opportunity and I am grateful for all of you who have, and will continue to, make an impact on my life for years to come.
For the final time...
Stationed by the Door,