“Why?” Three letters, one simple word that we ask frequently. For example, we may ask ourselves “why did I eat more than I could handle” or “why did I choose to break my bank account?” One why that has been asked more and more this year is “why should I Pay It Forward?”
Pay It Forward is a 2-year campaign that was created to secure the future of the Indiana FFA Leadership Center by paying off the mortgage and putting more funds in the Give Hope Annuity. This year, Indiana FFA has submerged themselves in the theme “Transform Purpose to Action.” We’ve spent this year learning how to transform FFA members, the agriculture industry and Indiana FFA, but there’s one thing that’s been transforming for the last 49 years and that’s the Indiana FFA Leadership Center. The list of what the Center has transformed goes on and on, but the two transformations that are most obvious to me are adventure and the definition of “home.”
The Indiana FFA Leadership Center has transformed adventure by providing 164 ½ acres of land and 5 ½ acres of lake to be hiked on, swam in, sledded on, and made memories with. From each green, curvy trail to every drop of water in the lake to the low ropes course, this Center has created adventure for visitors, the State Officers, and FFA members. My personal favorites are when my teammates and I needed a break from office hours which lead to swims in the lake. We created our adventures by not only pushing each other in as we all laughed hysterically, but by jumping from the inflatable slide in any creative way we could think of, embracing the height of our rope swing, and taking the canoes out for a spin. The center has forever transformed adventure by sparking spontaneous moments that resulted in unforgettable memories.
Once these 170 acres become explored and embraced, they immediately become another home. These grounds allowed 100,000 FFA members throughout the years to spend weekends finding their purpose. The Leadership Center is why FFA members have grown into the leaders they are today. The 7th grader who initially visited the Center to explore the woods and jump in the lake graduates as the senior who has fond memories of being transformed by these acres. Words cannot justify the sense of pride when I come home and see the large emblem in the front of the driveway, or when I look out into the sea of blue from the flag deck, or even when I’m spending quality time with my teammates in the State Officer House. These FFA members and myself have been transformed in the way we lead, the way we think, and the way we define the word “home.”
Back to the question of “why?” Why have individual sponsors, companies, and families donated to Pay It Forward? They decided to Pay It Forward because they understand the transformation the Indiana FFA Leadership Center has made. They understand the lasting legacy it leaves on everyone who enters these gates. Businesses like Farm Credit Mid-America and Indiana Farm Bureau asked “why?” Because they asked themselves these three letters, they decided to join our cause in maintaining the Center so 100,000 more FFA members can be inspired to transform their purpose into action. Thank you to Farm Credit Mid-America and Indiana Farm Bureau for matching up to $25,000 each, resulting in a total of $100,000. The transformation of adventure, definition of “home” and various others will continue to impact for years to come if YOU ask yourself “why” and donate towards our campaign.
Transforming with a Why,Sneha Jogi
2016-2017 Indiana FFA State
Northern Region Vice President