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By: Lindsey White
July 14, 2011

Ford Leadership Scholars was created in partnership with Ford Divisions and Texas Ford Dealers to give FFA members the “ultimate opportunity.” This year's class of ten scholars marks the second official year Ford Leadership Scholars has been a part of FFA. Ford Leadership Scholars are recognized for their leadership and service. 

Students enter into the program during the spring semester of their junior year. After a selection process that includes an application, an examination, a phone interview and an in-person evaluation, only ten students are selected to receive a $1,000 scholarship which is provided by the San Antonio Livestock Expedition and other considerable leadership-related benefits. 

These selected scholars continue with Ford Leadership Scholars after they complete a training program before the convention and receive recognition on stage at the convention. Scholars complete the Ford Leadership Scholars program during their senior year after they have conducted a community service project. 

Kallie Fuchs, a Columbus FFA member, plans to renovate her town's activity center. Katy FFA member Betsy James intends to update a VFW park, an area located centrally in her town that many people could enjoy.

Russell Carrell from the Garrison FFA chapter wants to conduct a county wide anti-texting and driving campaign. Carrell plans to hold presentations at all of the schools located within his county. Kayle Walker, a Seymour FFA member, wants to work with the elderly in nursing homes and establish a program of activities for the residents. Walker also plans to help create a better common area space for all of the residents to gather and interact in.

FFA members Brook Millican, Decatur FFA, and Brynna Diller, El Paso-Coronado FFA, both are interested in growing community gardens. Millican plans on aiming her project at improving the lives of disabled children. Diller intends to focus her project toward educating the middle school and elementary children near their agricultural farm. Colorado FFA member K'Leigh Wallis plans to aim her community service project in the direction of educating K-12 students on agricultural awareness. 

This year, all of the Ford Leadership Scholars attended a travel leadership training program. On July 4th, the scholars began their journey in Austin where they interacted with homeless men and women. In San Antonio, the scholars enjoyed a day at Seaworld. Following San Antonio, the scholars spent two nights in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area before heading to Throckmorton where they painted fences and conducted other community service projects. Fuchs noted that during her trip a particular interesting experience she participated in was bikram yoga which involved “yoga in a 109 degree room for an hour-and-a-half.” Once their leadership training camp came to a close, the students were Lubbock bound as they traveled to the Texas FFA State Convention. 

“You shouldn't set limits for yourself,” former Ford Leadership Scholar Molly Dutton, an Iowa Park FFA member, said. “You can surpass them greatly.”