Sophia Hortin, freshman, Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communications
Home FFA Chapter: Fischer FFA Chapter in Fischer, IL
SAE's: Swine Production; Diversified Crop Production
Leadership Roles: State President
From Sophia: As an FFA member, I kept SAE’s on swine and diversified crop production, where I raised market hogs and worked on my family’s corn and soybean farm respectively. These endeavors recently earned me the American FFA Degree at the 92nd National FFA Convention in October 2019.
Throughout my time as an FFA member, I engaged in many career development events, conferences, and leadership roles. The pinnacle of my FFA experience was when I served as the Illinois FFA State President during the 2018-2019 school year. I truly cherished every moment of that year serving Illinois FFA members and fostering the FFA mission of premier leadership, personal growth, and career success.
FFA provides a space where students can explore their interests and develop their skills. I credit the diversity of opportunity within FFA with not only helping me discover my career path, and my major in the College of ACES, but also helping me enhance my skills and build connections. All of these facets of growth and self-discovery within FFA have proven to be tremendously valuable in preparing me for success at the University of Illinois.
Advice for current members: Never discount an opportunity just because it makes you uncomfortable. While it may not always be easy to participate in a contest you know nothing about, meet a new person, or ask a question at a conference, these are often our best opportunities to grow. As I look back on my time in FFA, the experiences I treasure most are those that pushed me outside of my comfort zone.