I’ll never forget the moment that I was elected as Arizona FFA State Vice President. Standing on stage, looking into the audience (that I couldn’t see because the lights were so bright), but just hearing them all cheering. It was a moment that I had hoped for since my sophomore year of high school, and it was everything that I dreamed it would be.
Now, one year later, I have just retired my association jacket forever. The high was the same. Standing on stage hearing so many members cheering my name because I had impacted them. However, as rewarding as this feeling was, this wasn’t the most rewarding feeling.
As I go back and reflect on my year of office, I know that there were frustrations and I know it wasn’t always easy. In fact, there were times that I couldn’t wait for retirement to come; looking back, I don’t remember why. No, when I think about my year as a state officer in the FFA, I think about the first night my team was together and we all had dinner and went to race go-carts and play mini golf. I think about our time in California at the beach boogie boarding and riding a rollercoaster. I think about walking the rim of Bryce Canyon in Utah in awe of how beautiful it was. That summer was probably the best summer yet, learning so many new things and growing as a person so much. I remember hanging out at the house we have that designated for FFA state officers, watching really badly made scary movies but screaming anyway and laughing at each other.
I remember chapter visit season being gone every other day visiting a chapter somewhere in the state. Seeing how different chapter’s hold different events, and how the heart of the FFA truly is at the local level because they cater so well to the needs of their members. Even if it wasn’t the best of days or visits, there was always one student who seemed to make it worth it.
Now officially as a PSO (past state officer), I cherish the year that I served as a state officer so much!! I grew professionally, spiritually, and personally. And once again I find that I don’t remember the frustration moments but rather all of the important moments. Like the time that a student at Greenhand Conference was too shy to come to the from of the room to receive her pin during the awards ceremony, but when I walked over to her afterward and handed it to her and said “great job” I saw her entire face just light up. Or a member coming to you at COLT (chapter officer leadership training) to tell you that you inspired them and made then want to run for a chapter office and that’s why they’re at this conference. All those little moments and little interactions are what matter, so at the end of the year, I found that I remember what matters. The FFA truly is an amazing organization that I am so proud to say that I was a part of.
To any newly elected state officer, have fun! If you are enjoying this year and giving to everything that you’ve got, it will be worth it. The members always make it worth it! Remember that you have so much power now to make or break someone’s day, or even life! Use this power wisely! I think any PSO will agree with me, this year is absolutely insane! You’re traveling, you’re learning, you’re meeting new people; it’s so much to all take in, but in the end, it’ll be the best thing you’ve ever done!
To my team of recently retired officers, thank you for being a part of this incredible year with me. You have all taught me so much and have given me some of the best memories I have.
To the members of Arizona FFA, thank you for showing me what truly matters. You have all inspired me so much and made this year so wonderful that I will never, ever forget it.
And finally, to anyone who’s not or never has been a state officer, this still applies. Life is short, but in this time you have so much power to make an impact! Use it, and use it for good! And always, always know that no matter what you won’t remember all of the reasons you were upset or frustrated, but you will always remember what matters!