Thursday, September 28, 2017

Never Forget Your Roots

With District Kickoff season rounding out this week, I can’t help but think of how much I’ve loved traveling the beautiful state of Indiana to experience each kickoff. But, it’s been more than the traveling that I’ve enjoyed; it’s the people I’ve met along the way. The other night, I was sitting at Bremen High School as I watched the District II Officers practice their big “District Kickoff entrance” before the event began. Right then, it hit me. 
Smiling for a picture with the DII Officers after kickoff.
As the officers strutted in to assume their positions on stage, I saw just how much pride, excitement, and joy they had for their home district. This same pride, excitement, and joy has been shown by every FFA member I’ve met while traveling from school to school this September. Perhaps that’s been my favorite part of these last three weeks. Not only have I been able to spend quality time on the road with my teammates, but I’ve been able to meet others who share the same love for FFA and are so proud of the chapter that they come from. What a valuable thing it is to show how much you appreciate your home like that? I believe that we all can be better in this way by making sure to not forget our roots, but embrace them. As I think about the last three months since State Convention, it has been such an amazing whirlwind. But in all of the rush, have I forgotten to show how much I love that I am from the Hamilton Southeastern FFA chapter? Have I forgotten to show appreciation to my advisors and all those who’ve shaped me into who I am today?
My advisors and I after the close of State Convention, 2017. 
Sometimes in dealing with the craziness of life, we are too caught up in our activities. Whether that’s playing a sport, singing in
choir, or even serving beyond our FFA chapters as a State Chorus or Band officer, district officer, or section director, we must never forget about who we really are and where we’ve come from. It doesn’t matter if the back of our jacket says District VIII, Warsaw, District VI, Rushville, North Daviess, Section IV, Hamilton Southeastern, or Association. We must never forget the hometown, the home chapter, and the people that have made us who we are today.

Love always,

          Claire Baney
          17-18 State President
Making memories with my chapter at our Greenhand Initiation, 2014.

My family and I together at State Convention, 2017.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A Helping Hand

“Help! We are stranded in the middle of nowhere and all we can see are corn fields for miles. We are SO going to be late!”

That was the sound of a phone call to my mom on Wednesday during the middle of chapter visits. Grant and I were briskly driving to the next school on our checklist to give a facilitation that we were pumped for. It had been a long day, so naturally I was sleeping in the car while Grant was driving. But as we reached a four-way stop the car made a clugging sound and at that moment, sleep was the last thing on my mind. We had run out of gas.

              After calling my mom for help, Grant decided he would walk to the business across the way and see if they could be of assistance. Thankfully, a kind man brought us enough gas to get our car to the next station. I introduced myself and with that he informed me that he would be giving my grandfather grief soon for our silly actions. Soon, we took off again in search a place to fill up at.

               Sometimes we get into a groove of only helping ourselves and I am one of the biggest culprits of this. 
     I need to win this contest. I must be an officer in my chapter. I deserve that award. But when was the last time we took a step back and truly helped someone else? That is not an easy task considering the amount of sacrifice we must make; specifically with time. No matter if it takes 1 second or 1 hour to help others, it’s still our precious time that we do not always sparingly give away.
What some may say is the art of helping others should actually be called the art of living. If me make a conscious effort to help others, it will eventually become a part of our lives. Had it not been for the kind man giving us gas and sacrificing a minute of his time, we would not have been able to make it to our next school. Yes, that may seem like a minor task, yet it made all of the difference to the students we had the opportunity to impact. One small act by our hero created a chain reaction that eventually reached hundreds of other across the state of Indiana. Be a hero in someone else’s story. Take the time needed to truly help others and make it a habit in your life to do this. As Ronald Raegan once said, “We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” If we all help one person in our lives, think of how better this world could be. 

Forever thankful, 
Emily Kilmer
State Secretary