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Friday, October 23, 2009

Serve Out Loud!

Lead Out Loud! At National Convention this week you will see and hear these words everywhere! Before each session the national officers give us words of encouragement on how we can do just that, Lead Out Loud! But let’s take it a step further - the theme of our fourth general session of the week is Serve Out Loud and the National FFA, as you probably already know, has set goals for our organization to do this in a big way. The Million Hour Challenge (MHC) is a special initiative that focuses on service learning and brings together the hours served by FFA members to reach a goal of one million.

According to Michelle Sullivan, leader of FFA’s Living to Serve initiative, there are five categories in which chapters can log hours: education, government, healthy lifestyle, environment, and social and human services. By logging the most hours in these areas a chapter can win $2,500 to reinvest into their service project. Winners of the $2,500 award this year, sponsored by Monsanto, are as follows: Government- Forest Lake FFA Chapter from Forest Lake, MN; Social and Human Services- Perrydale FFA Chapter from Amity, OR; Education- Ponchatoula FFA Chapter from Ponchatoula, LA; Environmental- Rosewood FFA Chapter from Goldsboro, NC; and Healthy Lifestyles- Waupaca FFA Chapter from Waupaca, WI.

The Ponchatoula FFA Chapter was very interested in diversity. The chapter wanted to focus on diversity and helping the community know what diversity is; that it isn’t just race, it is education, age, geographic location and so much more. The chapter held a conference for their community and invited churches, schools, and other organizations. Chapters all across the county have been creative with service projects and are getting actively involved in their communities.

If your chapter hasn’t already gotten involved with the Million Hour Challenge now is the time to start! As members it is our obligation to serve and this initiative is the perfect motivation to do so. By serving out loud, we also LEAD OUT LOUD!

~Kelsey Ross, National FFA Convention newsroom staff


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