My name is Bailee Chavez from the Area VI Association in East Texas! FFA means more to me than I can hardly express in words. I have the honor of speaking on behalf of over 130,000 Texas FFA members when I say this organization is one that truly changes lives for the better. I first joined the FFA when in the eighth grade. I was very hesitant to join, seeing as that I did not come from an agricultural background and hardly knew anything about the agricultural industry. Nevertheless, after attending a chapter recruitment presentation that highlighted the amazing opportunities available to those who choose to embrace all the organization has to offer, I joined. I am so glad I took that leap of faith because FFA has provided me with more blessings than I can count.
One of my favorite parts of this organization is how unifying it is. This organization levels the playing field for each and every member. Once a member joins, they have the same opportunities to achieve success and build relationships as the member standing next to them. FFA is a really unique organization because students can develop their own experience that looks completely different from anyone else. Since there is such a large variety of leadership development events, career development events, leadership workshops, and ambassador opportunities available, there are so many different avenues one could take to gain their desired skill set. A few examples of the incredible skills that can be acquired in this organization include how to write and deliver a speech, practice poise in an interview, develop a rapport with industry professionals, raise an animal that helps feed a growing population and effectively run a meeting using parliamentary procedure.
Although a members’ time in their jacket, in the contest room, or in the show ring will inevitably come to a close, members leave the organization with noticeable skills that give them a competitive edge in the workforce. Things like an unmatchable work ethic, innovative ideas, outstanding resilience, admirable humility, and a firm handshake give them a leg-up on competitors in their chosen career field. All of this is possible because of amazing sponsors like Bloom, who are willing to dedicate some of their time, talents, and treasures to this organization. I cannot thank these sponsors enough for enabling myselfand thousands of other students to live out some of our biggest dreams. You are truly making a positive difference in the lives of students by allowing us to undergo experiences that develop our potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success.
In short, sponsors are the foundation of all the magic. Without them, none of this would be possible. Sponsors, thank you for choosing to invest in the youth of America. Thank you for giving an ordinary girl like me a chance to find my passions and my place in this world. Thank you for making it possible for thousands of young people to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Thank you for taking a chance on us. We promise we won't let you down.