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Today’s teens are busy and possibly have more opportunities available to them than ever before.  As parents, sometimes it can feel overwhelming to help them sort through where they should invest their time and energy.   

In honor of National FFA Week, FCS Financial asked our team members to look at their experiences of FFA, either as a member, a supporter, or both, and answer the question, “Should today’s teens make time for FFA?”

The overwhelming response to that question was, “Yes!”.   Below we explore the top reasons the FCS Financial staff gave for their support of FFA right now and for members in the future.

  1. FFA creates a network. 

According to the FCS Financial team: “The friendships and contacts I made through FFA have shown up throughout my FCS Financial career, as co-workers, customers, and other industry professionals.” 

Right Now: FFA members have a circle and a place that feels like home.  As exciting as high school can be, it can also be challenging for teens and having a circle of friends and a place to go that feels inclusive is crucial for teens.

Future: The network that students create while in FFA will continue to serve them for decades.  They’ll find themselves meeting new people and seeing old friends, learning new things and being exposed to new opportunities years after graduation because of the network they create while in FFA.

  1. FFA develops public speaking.

According to the FCS Financial team: “The public speaking and critical thinking that FFA members learn through FFA programs are valuable lifelong assets that set them apart from their peers for their entire career.”

Right Now: Teenagers today have fewer and fewer opportunities to push past their fears and get up and speak.  Whether it’s at a Chapter meeting or in front of a panel of judges at a contest, these experiences will teach them to overcome fears and boost their confidence.

Future: Public speaking isn’t about developing skills for a career as a motivational speaker. Instead, it’s about learning to speak clearly and articulately while in a stressful situation.  It’s about learning to think on your feet and present yourself as collected, even when you might not be.  Many professional adults still struggle with public speaking, so FFA members are already one-step ahead after leaving the organization. 

  1. FFA teaches the art of leadership.

According to the FCS Financial team: “It is a great organization that teaches you skills for the future. It's not just agriculture but leadership, working in a team environment, and learning to try new things. All these things will help you now and in your future.”

Right Now: Young people need leaders amongst themselves and FFA not only teaches their members how to be leaders, but how to be responsible leaders. 

Future: As professional cultures continue to move away from rigid organizational hierarchies, work environments continue to evolve and even work locations become more fluid, real leadership skills are going to be more important than ever.  A title will no longer be enough to garner teamwork. Professionals will need to look to their own developed leadership skills to guide their teams to success. 

The FCS Financial team strongly recommended today’s teenagers continue to look to FFA as one of the most viable options for success right now and future preparedness.  As one FCS Financial team member put it, “FFA prepares students for real-life better than any other program I have participated in or seen in action.”

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