Royal FFA students participate in 'Elevate' state conference in Fort Worth

By Melani Alanis, Editorial Intern
Posted 7/12/21

On Tuesday, July 6, the Royal FFA chapter officer teams, and Lone Star Degree recipients traveled to Fort Worth to attend the 93rd Texas FFA State Convention where they competed in events, attended …

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Royal FFA students participate in 'Elevate' state conference in Fort Worth

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On Tuesday, July 6, the Royal FFA chapter officer teams, and Lone Star Degree recipients traveled to Fort Worth to attend the 93rd Texas FFA State Convention where they competed in events, attended workshops, received Lone Star Degrees, heard from expert speakers at the sessions and got to explore the exhibit hall.

“There is nothing else in this state like the Texas FFA State Convention,” Spanish Creed Speaking participant Alondra Melendez said. “When you’re there, you know that you’re surrounded by people who share similar values and passions, and you not only get to celebrate other’s achievements but also get to have days full of fun with friends that are practically family.”

Royal FFA members said they enjoyed the convention and could relate to the 2021 Texas FFA State Convention’s theme of “Elevate.” The sessions at the convention included “Elevate Leadership” to “Elevate Community” prompting members from all over the state to come together to listen to retiring officer speeches and keynote speakers such as the National FFA Secretary Anna Mathis.

“In these sessions, the retiring officer speeches were supposed to be on something we can take home and integrate into our everyday lives and chapters,” Royal FFA Chapter Vice President Hanna Ulbricht said. “I loved how they had some personal information and made it more sentimental and got people engaged.”

“The FFA Convention was a one-of-a-kind experience,” Royal High School Graduate Nimve Nuñez said. “Being able to experience this helped me gain a new level of admiration for this program.”

A competition that Royal competed in this year at the convention was the Spanish Creed Speaking Contest in which Melendez placed top three in her heat and advanced to finals.

“On my first day, I was full of nerves, anxiously awaiting my turn to go in for Spanish Creed Speaking,” Melendez said. “I had worked for over a month to memorize the creed and get to a point where I was comfortable answering a variety of questions about it in Spanish.”

The fourth general session “Elevate the Future” started with opening ceremonies in Spanish for the first time in convention history. The introduction was performed by members competing in the Spanish Creed Speaking event. Later in the session, awards and recognition for the speaking events were announced.

“When the speaker announced that I had gotten eighth place I was elated and giddy as I was given my banner,” Melendez said. “I had never won in a state FFA contest, and it’s everyone’s goal in this organization to receive one of those coveted banners at least once in their FFA journey.”

At the “Elevate the Journey” session recognition was also given to Mr. Woods Classroom which was the name given to the group that competed in the Justin Boots FFA STEM Contest which consisted of Melendez, Melani Alanis, Alexis Ibarra, Samantha Lopez, and Emily Contreras.

“Hard work pays off, no matter what people say,” Ibarra said.

Royal FFA Lone Star Degree Recipients got to walk across the stage during the convention and receive their Lone Star Charms, an award received only after meeting certain milestones as members of the FFA. (For more information on the Lone Star Degree, visit www.texasffa.org.) The Royal FFA Lonestar Degree recipients consisted of Alanis, Hanna Ulbricht, Angel Velasquez, Ibarra, Nimve Nuñez, Contreras, Juan Grimaldo, Melendez and Samantha Lopez.

“When I got my Lonestar Degree it was an experience that I will never forget.” Ibarra said. “It felt as if I became a part of a bigger family.”

While at the convention, members from the Royal FFA Chapter were able to attend the “Value in Me, Value in You” workshop which was led by the National FFA Southern Vice President Artha Jonassaint prompting members to get out of their seats and mingle with members from other chapters.

“State FFA Convention was truly a great opportunity to meet and greet with other members,” Royal FFA Chapter President Kaelyn Hein said. “Convention this year was definitely an experience like no other.”

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