“LDW: Investigation Impact” these words were carefully analyzed by my team and I as we sat in the office at the Indiana FFA Pavilion to decide on the theme for our upcoming conference. The word investigation meant nothing more than just a word related to our mystery theme for the weekend, but the word impact means so much more now than it did when we were in the State Fair debating about rhymes and alliteration.
When the time came to start the conference and all of the members were registered, my teammates and I were beyond excited to start impacting members. Session after session I was reenergized by the positive reactions they had to the things we had spent so much time planning.
Flash forward to the banquet that happens the Saturday night of every conference, but this one is very different because it is the first ever mystery dinner theater. With all this chaos, I assumed that a small detail like my birthday would be forgotten by everyone except my family. Once I was dressed as “Millie Cyprus,” and had a mouthful of porkchop, I was shocked to see Emily call me to the stage to sing happy birthday. I was even more shocked when they pulled out a card, but I was almost brought to tears to see that everyone at the conference had signed the card.
How in the world did these amazing and thoughtful people find the time to do something so special for me when they were under the stress of planning our first conference? Little did I realize that through all of these things, the members were impacting me. “Investigation Impact” was truly solved when I saw the card with member’s names making sure that I had a great birthday, or maybe it was when I started crying after I gave my reflection and many members I had never talked to came up and comforted me, or maybe it was when the conference ended and members wanted to take a picture with me. I realized the impact of these amazing members even more when I read the beautiful words in a note from a member who was not even at the conference but I had met at state fair… “Jess, I’m extremely blessed that such an amazing individual like you walked into my life. I feel as if you and I are a lot alike and I cannot wait to grow closer to you.”
These members make my heart feel whole. The members that I have the privilege to serve make every long night worth it, they may not even realize it but every single time they choose to make conversation with me, write me a happygram, tell me a joke, or take an activity seriously, they make an impact on me and I can never thank them enough.
Thankful and Impacted,
2016-2017 Indiana FFA State President