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Banderan becomes Texas FFA Ford Leadership Scholar

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Courtesy photo
From left, Mitchell Dale and Larry Gach, Texas Ford Motor Company; John Derry, member of Bandera FFA and graduate of the Ford Leadership Scholars program; and Gracie Hedrick, president of the Texas FFA

John Derry, an FFA member of Bandera County, was recently recognized as one of nine outstanding graduates of the Texas FFA Association's Ford Leadership Scholars program. He was honored at the fifth annual Ford Leadership Scholars banquet in Austin.
The Ford Leadership Scholars program is funded by an endowment established by the Ford Motor Company and Texas Ford dealers. Each scholar receives a $1,000 academic scholarship.
To be eligible for the program, applicants must pass a stringent vetting process, which focuses on six characteristics of leadership - action, relationships, vision, character, awareness and continuous improvement. The vetting process includes an extensive online application, exam over an assigned leadership text, telephone interview and a daylong behavioral interview. More than 200 FFA members applied to be a part of the program.
"Fostering effective, visionary servant leadership is vitally important to the future of our state and nation. I believe the Ford Leadership Scholars program provides a unique opportunity for FFA members to develop their potential to lead a life of influence and for the FFA to create a legacy of leadership for communities across Texas" said Texas FFA Executive Director Tom Maynard.
The Ford Leadership Scholars program provides an intense hands-on leadership development experience through apprentice-type scenarios, interaction with nationally recognized leaders and projects to be completed by students in their respective communities.
In addition to Derry, the graduating class of 2014 includes Gabrielle Alcala, Boling FFA; Brittney Boreserine, Allen FFA; Kloe Burris, Jourdanton FFA; Kaleb Dautrich, Katy FFA; Benjamin Johnson, Spring Branch FFA; Caitlin Lakey, Kingwood Park FFA; Blake Mosley, George West FFA; and Taylor Swinson, Sulphur Springs FFA.
As an agricultural youth leadership organization, the Texas FFA Association has operated as an integral part of the state's agricultural education curriculum since 1929. The organization is the nation's largest state FFA association with a membership of more than 103,000 members in more than 1,045 high school and middle school campuses.
The Texas FFA Association is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The organization has evolved from focusing primarily on production agriculture to a broader-based encompassing organization, addressing the needs and interests of students in urban and suburban schools in addition to the rural communities.
For more information about the Texas FFA Association, visit www.texasffa.org.