A priceless experience: Meghan Stadeli grateful for FFA year

April 2015 Posted in Community, People, School
Meghan Stadeli

Meghan Stadeli

By Kristine Thomas

Meghan Stadeli has learned she has “family” throughout Oregon.

Last spring, Stadeli was elected as the sentinel of Oregon’s FFA leadership team. A 2014 Silverton High School graduate, Stadeli has spent the last year traveling throughout Oregon and visiting with high school FFA chapters and agricultural businesses and industries. She also helped plan the state FFA convention in Silverton and traveled to South Africa.

Wherever she traveled, she was always felt welcomed. And she learned her FFA family extends beyond Silverton.

“Everywhere we went, people were so kind,” she said. “We stayed in the homes of chapter members and we treated like their own kids. FFA is really like an extended family.”

Having the state FFA convention at Silverton High School was exciting for Stadeli because she had the chance to show off her hometown and how important FFA is.

“We’ve had a successful FFA chapter in Silverton for so many years and I’m so proud to show it off to FFA members from across Oregon,” Stadeli said.

Before the convention began, Stadeli spent some time reflecting on her whirlwind year. One of the highlights was traveling to South Africa, visiting Johannesburg and Cape Town.

“It was a huge culture shock,” she said. “Before we left, we took classes so we were able to understand the history. Overall, I learned I am really blessed. We met a family of eight living in a tin shack with three walls and a roof.”

She also visited the Kliptown Youth Program, whose mission it is to eradicate the poverty of mind, body and soul and to fight against the disadvantages imposed on the children by providing educational support and after school activities.

“This is a place where they planted grass so kids could play,” she said. “Before they planted the grass, the kids had never seen grass. The program was a sanctuary for the kids who were the happiest kids I have met.”

In the fall, Stadeli will attend the University of Portland to study nursing. Between now and then, she plans to travel to California, Illinois and New York to help at their state FFA conventions. And she plans to find a summer job.

Being on the state leadership team has taught her valuable lessons she can use in college and life. She’s learned the art of compromise, especially when working with people who are all leaders. “We all learned we can’t always be right all of the time,” she said.

The theme for the state convention was Summit, Stadeli said, adding throughout the convention FFA members were encouraged to overcome obstacles and to obtain goals they never thought possible.At the state convention, Stadeli retired as sentinel, saying she is hanging up her corduroy suit one final time.

“As far as I know I will be the first Oregon FFA state officer to ever retire in her hometown,” Stadeli said.

She’s encourages other students to learn more about FFA.

“Being part of FFA has taught me so many things, including what I am good at and it has given me the confidence to do whatever comes next.”

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