Honoring the groups that aid our youth
They all serve, but in different ways. The FFA is a national group for anyone interested in “agriculture and leadership.” The official name of the organization is the National FFA Organization. What does FFA stand for? Future Farmers of America. But the group notes: “FFA is not just for students who want to be production farmers; FFA also welcomes members who aspire to careers as teachers, doctors, scientists, business owners and more. For this reason, the name of the organization was updated in 1988 after a vote of national convention delegates to reflect the growing diversity and new opportunities in the industry of agriculture.” “We are still the Future Farmers of America,” the group says. “But we are the Future Biologists, Future Chemists, Future Veterinarians, Future Engineers and Future Entrepreneurs of America, too.” The Boy Scouts of America, with 2.2 million members between 5 and 21, offers what it describes as “the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, which helps young people be ‘Prepared. For Life.’” Begun in 1910, the group says more than 130 million young men and women have participated in the group’s youth programs. More than 35 million adult volunteers, it says, have helped carry out the BSA’s mission. The Girl Scouts says that it unleashes the G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader) in every girl, preparing her for a lifetime of leadership. The Girl Scout Leadership Experience is described as a one-of-a-kind leadership development program for girls, with proven results. Research, the group says, shows that girls learn best in an all-girl, girl-led, and girl-friendly environment. Girl Scouts is a place, the group says, where she’ll practice different skills, explore her potential, take on leadership positions — and even feel allowed to fail, dust herself off, get up and try again. 4-H (with its famous clover) is delivered by Cooperative Extension — a community of more than 100 public universities across the nation that provides experiences where young people learn by doing. Born more than a century ago, 4-H has welcomed young people of all beliefs and backgrounds, giving kids a voice. The group says it has allowed almost 6 million kids and teens to take on societal issues such as addressing community health inequities and advocating for equity and inclusion.