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Dedication, hard work pays off
By Yelena Serrato/The Hesperian-Beacon—
FLOYDADA—Four Floydada High School students are being recognized for years of hard work and dedication beyond the classroom.
Jose Lira, Andrez Suarez, Ruth Ramirez and Ryder Glass are receiving the highest degree of membership the State FFA Association can award – the FFA Lone Star Degree.
Earning the Lone Star Degree means a variety of things for each of these students.
FHS Senior Andrez Suarez said it represents all of his hard work has paid off throughout his years in high school with the FFA.
“It represents the countless memories and long nights of work and sacrifice that I have had to make in order to see success.
“Through my high school years, I was able to persevere and advance my knowledge and experience to earn this award my final year,’ Suarez said. “It is something I will cherish for a long time to come. I’d like to thank Mrs. Ramirez and Coach Ramirez for working with me and pushing me every day to better myself. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have received this award,” he said.
FHS 2020 graduate Jose Lira said the award is very special.
“This award is more than an honor to me,” Lira said. “This accomplishment that I have been awarded has not only helped with what I plan to become but also for the success I hope to have in the near future. My future has always been very important to me. It’s achievements like these that keep me going and let me understand the importance of happiness within our lives” he explained.
Ruth Ramirez, a 2020 FHS graduate, describes her FFA experience as life changing, and she credits it for helping her become the person she is today.
“Receiving my Lone Star Degree has been an honor. There are not enough words in the world to describe or say how much this means to me,” she said. “All I can say is that without the FFA organization, I would not be the person I am today. It has opened many doors for me and will continue to do so. I would not be receiving this degree without the help of my Ag teacher, Alejandra Ramirez and her husband Jonathan Ramirez. They’ve helped me in so many ways and have taught me many things. Although my journey was cut very short, I’m so thankful for the opportunities this organization has brought me” Ramirez said.
FHS senior Ryder Glass describes it as another memory made thanks to an organization to which he is highly devoted.
“When I first joined FFA my freshman year, I knew that it was a great organization. Through the years I tried my best to accomplish as much as possible at the chapter, district, area and state levels. My last step was earning my Lone Star Degree. This degree marks the end of the amazing journey that I have had with this great organization. I am honored to say that I have achieved this goal and will forever cherish the memories made in the FFA” Glass said.
Although these students did not get the opportunity to accept their award at the FFA State Convention due to COVID-19, it does not take away from the accomplishment they have each made while members of Future Farmers of America, said FHS Ag teacher Alejandra Ramirez.
“These FFA members have been instrumental to building our FFA chapter these past four years. Seeing all their hard work and countless hours be rewarded is very special. It’s been an honor to have been their Ag teacher and I look forward to what the future has in store for them” Ramirez said.
According to the requirements listed in the FFA Degrees of membership, these four students had to first receive their Chapter FFA Degree, have been an active FFA member for at least two years at the time of receiving the State FFA Degree, have completed at least two years of systematic school instruction in agricultural education, have earned and productively invested at least $1,000 and worked at least 300 hours in excess of scheduled class time, in a supervised agricultural experience program. The combination of hours and earnings multiplied by a factor of 3.33 must be equal to or greater than the number 1,000.
These students have demonstrated leadership ability by performing 10 parliamentary law procedures, giving a six-minute speech on a topic relating to agriculture or FFA, served as an FFA officer, committee chairperson, or committee member as well as have a satisfactory academic record, certified by the agriculture teacher and the school principal or superintendent.
These students also have participated in the planning and implementation of the chapter’s Program of Activities.
As of April 1, they each completed 10 activities above the chapter level in at least three of six different categories: leadership development events, career development events, conventions and meetings, project shows, student awards, and leadership and service as described in policies adopted by the board of directors.
They also completed at least 25 hours of community service in a minimum of two different activities. All community service hours are cumulative, i.e. the 10 community service hours used to obtain the chapter degree can be used toward the state degree.