When Yosemite FFA chapter reporter Courtney Herrera walks through the door in her mud-covered jeans it’s evident she is no stranger to hard work. What you might not notice is her passion for leadership and articulate communication skills reeking of success.
Recently, Herrera put those communications skills to the test during a FFA Made for Excellence and Advanced Leadership Academy (MFE/ALA) conference held Feb. 13-14, in Visalia, where she was selected as one of 22 finalists vying for 11 positions on the East Fresno-Madera Regional FFA team. While at the conference Herrera, a junior at YHS, participated in an interview process for a regional officer position where, if elected, she would represent the San Joaquin region and the East Fresno-Madera section for FFA.
Following their interviews, the 58 candidates from all across the Central Valley where narrowed down to 22 and slated into groups of two based on the board positions which best suited their capabilities. The finalists will now compete against later this month for the 11 open board positions.
Herrera performed well enough at last weekend’s conference to be slated for regional vice president, where she will face off against one other FFA representative for that position.
“It would be an honor to be elected,” Herrera said. “I am looking forward to the opportunity to share my knowledge and passion with other FFA students across our region.”
The next step for Herrera will be preparing for her regional office speech, to be conducted Feb. 28, in Bakersfield. The speeches will be delivered before a crowd of her delegates; she must answer one ag-related question and one on FFA/leadership. After all candidates answer the questions delegates representing FFA from as far south as Bakersfield and as far north as Chowchilla will vote on who they believe is best suited for those positions. If selected, Herrera’s duties will include representing the East Fresno-Madera section as president giving them a voice on a regional and state level. On top of representing her section, Herrera would be asked to help organize regional FFA events and fundraisers.
She would be the first Yosemite High FFA member to be elected to a regional vice president position since Harry Piek in 1986; Mark Stephens was elected as regional reporter in 2000.
Joining Herrera at last weekend’s conference were YHS FFA members Taylor Wade, Sonya Smith and Joe Sible. The three sophomores used the time to meet new friends, test their knowledge of FFA and work on their leadership skills.
In other FFA news, on Monday, Feb. 16, six students from the Yosemite High FFA program competed at the East Fresno/Madera FFA Sectional Speaking contest. RJ Vlach competed in job interview; Ellen Rosasco, Jessica Wade, and Shellee Hance competed in Creed and Sonya Smith and Courtney Herrera competed in Impromptu. There were a total of 39 contestants for Creed and 13 for Impromptu. Of the 39, Shellee Hance was asked to compete in the final round with eight other students. Herrera placed fourth in Impromptu. She will be competing at the San Joaquin Regional Speaking Contest in Tulare on March 27.
- Staff report