My SAE has consisted in many different fields within placement systems such as working in food services, swine production, fruit/vegetable production, however a majority of my SAE resides in agriscience research. I’ve conducted over 630 hours of research in topics such as discovering the most effective way for students to retain knowledge about agricultural topics; the influence that advertisements have on consumers and ways that agriculturalists can use that information to effectively advocate for agriculture. My last project was identifying ways agriculturalists could reduce their carbon footprint by using Biochar soil.
What motivated you to want to become a Missouri FFA officer?
I was motivated to become an officer was at the Leadership Adventure my sophomore year. I met Corey Flournoy (the first African American national FFA officer). Meeting Corey was a very monumental point of my FFA career because it was refreshing to meet someone I could relate to by not having a agricultural background and seeing how successful he has become through FFA by just taking advantage of opportunities. It encouraged me to break barriers and be comfortable being uncomfortable.
Who is your hero and why?
My hero/biggest role model would definitely be Tyler Perry. Though he is most recognized for his Madea movies, Tyler Perry created more than seven plays and 38 movies. Through those collections of works, he was not only the executive director but also starred in multiple films sometimes playing more than one role within those movies. To me Tyler Perry embodies the definition of work ethic and the meaning of “do what you love and never work a day in your life.”
His movies illustrate pressing issues in society and that a person’s faith and family can get them through anything. I live by this Tyler Perry quote: “It doesn’t matter if 1,000 people tell you what you can’t do or if 1,000,000 people tell you no. If you get one yes from God,that’s ALL that matters.” This holds true to me in so many ways. Throughout life, more people in the world will try to bring you down than lift you up, but if you listen with your heart for what the Lord is calling you to do, nothing anyone says matters.
What are your plans for the future?
I plan to attend Northwest Missouri State University where I will be majoring in agriculture education with a minor in ag communications. Then, I plan to pursue my master’s in business administration in agriculture economics. From there, I plan to open up my own school in St. Louis based on agriculture education and technical skills to provide the endless opportunities to the kids in the inner city that FFA has given me.
What is something unique or interesting that few people know about you?
Although I am mostly known for my numerous voice impressions such as Barack Obama and Dennis Haysbert (The All-State Guy). not many people know is that I am an avid poet. A large majority of my free time is spent writing, reading, listening or watching poetry. I’ve always used it as a way to express myself and my deepest thoughts, ideas and values.
Advice to FFA Members
My advice to FFA members is to never be afraid to try something new. When I first joined FFA, I had no idea about anything in the agriculture industry. My freshman year when my ag teacher talked about steers, I thought he was talking about steering wheels to a car. FFA is an organization designed to increase student growth, and growth cannot take place if you never take a risk. It’s always better to try and fail than to never try at all.