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Respectable Teens Give Hope for the Future

* I have some catching up to do. If you are a loyal follower of this blog, I offer my deepest apologies for not having posted for the last 10 weeks. See, about that time, I took on a new adventure of being a full-time substitute for an amazing high school social studies teacher who was on maternity leave. Clearly, some things had to go just to keep up with everything between school, our family, my photography, and my part-time work with our church. There just weren’t enough hours in the day to continue everything, so blog-posting was one that had to go on the back burner. However, I kept writing. It’s one of those things that I find I simply can’t not do. It just happens. So while I wasn’t posting, I was still writing. It’s time now to catch up. Thank you for sticking with me! 🙂 Here’s “Respectable Teens” from May 5, 2015.

It seems people have a tendency to regard our teenage population as hoodlums and troublemakers. I noticed it when I was a teenager and I continue to notice it today as we parent a few.

Most days a quick glance at the local, state and national news will confirm the worries that are so prevalent about this next generation taking over our country. Riots in Baltimore are a prime example of what so many are concerned about. However, I have these moments in which I watch these “kids” in action. I see them professionally running an FFA banquet, presenting award after award after award, many of them for contests and degrees beyond the chapter level and realize there is a level of commitment among these young people that will take them far in their future endeavors.

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Abingdon-Avon FFA presented Greenhand and Chapter degrees to every freshman and sophomore member at last week’s banquet. There is also one junior and one senior who have earned their State FFA Degree, the highest degree which can be earned as an Illinois FFA member. These gentleman will receive their degrees at the Illinois FFA Convention in June, and will be encouraged to continue working in their enterprises and later apply for the American FFA Degree.

Brandon & Rob earned their State FFA Degree.

Brandon & Rob earned their State FFA Degree.

I have always been impressed with and highly encouraged by those young adults who wear the blue jackets. I watched my older brother move through the FFA ranks and couldn’t wait to grow up and be just like him. I watched the students younger than me move up the ladder after my high school years, celebrating each step along the way with them. As an FFA Adviser’s wife, I played host to many a degree workshops around our dining room table and clapped just as hard for those kids as their parents because I knew what it took to attain those degrees. Now, as a parent, I cannot hide the pride that I have in my son and his fellow FFA members as they climb the same ladders.

This past weekend, I watched some of these same teenagers among their peers as they participated in Grand March and then enjoyed an evening at prom. I was honored to be the photographer, and then to help chaperone after-prom.

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These are such great kids. They handle themselves professionally and treat others respectfully. They work hard and play hard and truly have so much fun while they are doing it. It really is a joy just to be in their company and puts my heart at ease when I consider this is the character of people which will be running the communities in which our younger children will be teens, the communities in which we will live out our retirements.

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