In 2012, Obama was elected to his second term of presidency, everyone thought that the world was going to end, and I stepped into the Sea of Blue for the first time. Young, awkward, and ready to step out of my comfort zone, I confidently turned in my application for the 2012 National FFA Convention and Expo and hoped that I would be lucky enough to go on this WEEK-LONG FIELD TRIP! Soon after this, my bags were packed, the bus loaded, and 12 “country kids” from South Newton High School were ready for a week in the big city of Indianapolis.
Oblivious to the impact this trip would leave, my friends and I laughed and joked as we zipped up our corduroy jackets and entered Bankers Life Field House for the first general session of the 85th National FFA Convention and Expo. As we arrived, the laughter stopped and jaws began to drop. I became completely overwhelmed. Corduroy jackets with lettering ranging from Alaska to the Virgin Islands and from Maine to Hawaii covered every inch of the Fieldhouse. During my time at National Convention, I realized that FFA was bigger than just me. It was bigger than South Newton High School, and it was bigger than Indiana. The impact that speakers, friends, and mentors made at my very first National FFA Convention left me knowing that FFA was my place, so now all I had to do was see where I fit into theSea of Blue.
Each year after, October became a month to reconnect with friends from across the nation and come back to our chapters renewed and ready to make an impact. This year, however, was one that I will never forget because finally, after five National FFA Conventions, I found my place in that Sea of Blue. My teammates and I had the unique opportunity to serve as nine of the 475 National FFA Delegates. This process involves lots of committee work, discussion, and voting on matters that can ultimately affect the National FFA Organization for years to come. It was through this process, that I found my place in the Sea of Blue. Discussing topics that I was passionate about, losing my voice each session on the delegate floor, and representing Indiana to FFA Associations across the nation once again allowed me to find my place in the blue jacket.