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Making it to the top in FFA

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Seven Molalla High School students earn the FFA American Degree


While less than 1 percent of FFA members nationwide earn the American FFA Degree, seven Molalla FFA members earned that distinction this year.

Kenny Schriever, Luis Mendoza, Kenra DeAngelis, Catherine Burroughs, Bryson Hellman, Tristan Hill and Faith Lencioni all earned the American FFA Degree, and all but Hellman, Hill and Schriever attended the award ceremony held in Indianapolis, Indiana in October.

Of the 600,000 FFA members worldwide, less than 1 percent ever receive their American FFA Degree. These members have to be at least one year out of high school and have earned at least $10,000 and productively invested $7,500 or earned and productively invested $2,000 and worked 2,250 hours in excess of scheduled class time. Any combination of hours, times a factor of 3.56, plus actual dollars earned and productively invested must be equal to or be greater than the number 10,000.

There are also additional requirements, including community service, school and leadership involvement. Here are Molalla’s newest American Degree recipients:

MOLALLA FFA - Kenny Schreiver

Kenny Schriever, MHS Class of 2014

Since high school, Kenny Schriever continued working full time on his family’s farm, raising perennial ryegrass, Jefferson hazelnuts, Red clover and Crimson clover.

Schriever also runs his own operation of 66 acres, raising ryegrass and crimson clover.

He said his favorite CDE in high school was Ag Mechanics., and from FFA, he gained public speaking skills, learned how to meet new people and learned how to be a better leader.

“If you are possibly looking to join FFA, I would strongly urge you to,” Schriever said. “Agriculture has so many different career opportunities; FFA will educate you about much of AG and help you explore tons of careers. Plus you have the potential to travel through FFA and meet lots of new folks.”

MOLALLA FFA - Luis Mendoza

Luis Mendoza, MHS Class of 2015

After graduating from Molalla High School, Luis Mendoza received an incredible opportunity to serve as the 2015-2016 Oregon FFA State President.

“I was able to represent FFA and agriculture across the state of Oregon,” Mendoza said. “ I even got to travel across the US and to Africa. My long-range plans include owning my own business and traveling often. “

Mendoza said his favorite CDE in high school was Parliamentary Procedure.

“FFA has given me so many opportunities that I cannot put into words,” he said. “I just know that through this incredible organization, I learned a lot about what it meant to be a hard worker, a great friend and, above all, what it means to truly serve. My advice to younger members is to just get involved. Do as much as you possibly can, because high school is shorter than you think.”

MOLALLA FFA - Faith Lencioni

Faith Lencioni, MHS Class of 2015

Now attending Clackamas Community College and working on getting her prerequisites finished before going to Oregon State to earn a Bio Health degree, Faith Lencioni plans to apply for Pharmacy School and pursue her medical education.

“I also have been spending my time training and riding horses, participating at barrel races and timed event shows, and continuing to better myself as a horseman,” Lencioni said. “I am currently sitting 14th out of 220 in the BRN4D (barrel racers national 4D) association on my horse Pee Wee Starlight ‘Lilly.’”

She said her favorite CDE in high school was horse judging, because it was something she excelled at and found interesting.

FFA gave her experiences and skills like public speaking, team work, leadership along with so many others. She said it has also given her connections and friendships with every new adventure.

“My advice for younger students would be to try everything,” she said. “Even if you’re busy or uncomfortable, try something new every chance you get. You’ll get more than just a new skill, you will get an experience that you’ll never forget and new friendships.

“FFA is a group of responsible, respectful, and motivated young adults, but it’s also a close-knit family that you can rely on. I will forever be grateful to be a part of such a wonderful organization with the best advisors I could’ve asked for.”

MOLALLA FFA - Catherine Burroughs

Catherine Burroughs, MHS Class of 2015

After high school Catherine Burroughs continued her volunteerism at local charities, as well as starting school last fall at Linn-Benton Community College as an agriculture science major with an eventual career as an agriculture teacher.

She competed in Farm Business Management and Dairy Judging while in FFA, which were her two favorite CDE’s, she said, because they gave her a challenge.

“In FFA I learned a lot about myself and got to travel a lot,” Burroughs said. “I got to see the whole other side of the United States and met some great people along the way.

“My advice to anyone wanting to join is do it. There are amazing opportunities and always something different. Meeting new people, making a lot of memories with not just your chapter but anyone you may meet. Also always say yes because you never know what might happen and the possibilities are endless.”

MOLALLA FFA - Bryson Hellman

Bryson Hellman, MHS Class of 2015

When asked what he has been up to since graduating high school, Bryson Hellman said he has traveled to many places and gone on many adventures hiking and backpacking.

“Being in nature helped me realize what I wanted to do In life,” he said. “Ive always loved history and loved telling anyone about it. I’ve also loved trains and was involved in many railroad activities. I went on to attend Northwest railroad institute to follow what I thought would be my dream job as a conductor. After graduating from the institute I worked on a railroad and realized it wasn’t the life style that best fit me.”

Now Hellman is planning to attend Clackamas Community College, and then transfer to Western Oregon University to become a history teacher.

“Through the connections I made in the FFA, I am soon to be operations manager at a nearby nursery,” he said. “That would have never been possible if I had not been involved in FFA.”

Hellman’s favorite CDE in FFA was Food Science and Technology.

“What I have gained from FFA is who I am today,” he said. “I would never be as confident, outgoing, hardworking and educated in business and animals. I have gained many friends which have not only made my life full of good times but many jobs have come from it as well.”

His advice to younger students is, “Never hold back when you have the opportunity. Go all out. In other words take every opportunity life gives you.”

MOLALLA FFA - Kenra DeAngelis

Kenra DeAngelis, MHS Class of 2015

A sophomore at University of Portland majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a biology minor, Kenra DeAngelis plans on going into the field of Biomedical Engineering. She recently won best of breed LaMancha doe in open class at county fair 2016, Champion and Reserve Champion FFA dairy goat 2016, Champion team flags at 2015 interstate, along with top 10 in individual flags and two-man three barrels and is the treasurer of the Biomedical Engineering Club at University of Portland.

Her favorite CDE in high school was Horse Judging.

In FFA DeAngelis said she gained public speaking skills, confidence and general life skills.

She said her advice to younger members is, “If you are interested in a CDE then go for it, do as many things as you can because you don’t want to look back and regret not doing something.”

MOLALLA FFA - Tristan Hill

Tristan Hill, Class of 2015

Tristan attends Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, majoring in agriculture education and is pursuing a career teaching agriculture in Oregon.

Hill is on the Horse Judging team at NEO that recently won Reserve Champion Team at the Quarter Horse Congress. He is also an Ag Ambassador at his school.

His favorite CDEs in high school were Horse Judging and Parliamentary Procedure.

From FFA, Hill said he has learned leadership and communication skills, confidence, path for college and his future career.

His advice to younger members is “Listen to Behrle and Blair. Always say yes. Don’t be afraid to try new things and step out of comfort zone.” He also stated, “Cherish this time and have fun before you graduate and try new things.”