Jessica - Penn Laird, Virginia
Entered on March 2, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: carpe diem

I believe you should take every opportunity you can. Many times in life we have the chance to do something, or purchase an item, and we don’t do it. More than likely we will eventually regret it. Being a FFA member, (Future Farmers of America), has showed me that I should never turn down an opportunity. After all, they may help us gain new skills, build confidence, or it may help someone else.

While in the FFA I had many opportunities to compete in contests throughout Virginia as well as in other states. Once I was part of the team, I studied hard and attended every practice. All our hard work paid off, and in 2007 and 2008 my Dairy Foods team and Poultry team took state titles. After winning the state contest we got to move on to compete at the National Convention held in Indianapolis, Indiana. While we were there I met many new people from all over the U.S. Without taking the opportunity to try out for the two teams, I wouldn’t have got to travel to a different state, and I wouldn’t have been able to meet new people.

Another opportunity I took was while I was in high school. They offered a teacher mentorship class, were you travel to an elementary or middle school and help a teacher in any way you can. My first year I was placed in an elementary classroom at McGaheysville Elementary. I helped kids learn valuable information such as, their numbers, short words, even how to write their letters. I became attached to each child in a different way. Now when I see one of the students I helped with, they come running up to me, give me a hug, and tell me how they are doing now. My second year I was placed in a third grade classroom at the same school. A lot of the kids were the older siblings of the kindergarten kids I taught. They had heard wonderful things about me from their sisters and brothers, which made me feel like I made a difference. I helped them learn more complex words, and I helped teach them basic knowledge in math, science, and history. By taking the opportunity to help in a classroom it made me feel really good to know I was helping someone else. That chance even helped me choose what I want to do in my life, to become a kindergarten teacher.

By taking the opportunities in my life they have helped me grow as a person. I have become aware of things I should do, so I won’t regret them later. I have gained leadership skills, I have built confidence in myself, and I have helped other people. I can use all these new things I have learned throughout my life, and maybe teach others to never pass up a chance. I believe you should take every opportunity you can. You never know when you might regret something.