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In the Ford Leadership Scholar Program, 10 members are selected based on six characteristics of leadership: action, relationships, vision, character, awareness and continuous improvement. The process is strenuous, but definitely worthwhile. Each applicant, upon completion of the program, is targeted for internships in the agricultural industry and policy development. Recipients are awarded a $1,000 San Antonio Rural Youth Award. These honorees were present at the Ford Leadership Scholars Banquet to be recognized for their achievements by Mitchell Dale, general manager of McRee Ford Dealership in Dickinson, Texas. In addition, Peter Christopher and Todd Vagi represented Ford.
“What attracts me and the other Ford dealers to be involved in the FFA is the opportunity to be exposed to what the FFA is,” Dale said. “The most gratifying thing about my personal involvement is meeting the future leaders of our country.”
In high school Dale was not able to be involved in the FFA because it wasn’t available. However, he is now able to be actively involved through Ford’s sponsorship.
“Ford Motor Company and the Ford dealers have been involved for 75 years nationwide,” Dale said. “This is actually our first year doing the Ford Leadership Scholar Program, so the 10 students being recognized are the first inaugural class. The vision of this program is to recognize students who excel in leadership and are hungry to learn more.”
Dale firmly believes involvement of students in the FFA is essential for personal development and a healthy, successful base on building a future for both themselves and the community. Stevie Hall, from the Frankston chapter, is a recipient of this award.
“It feels amazing,” Hall said. “It’s likes being a pioneer. You’re creating a foundation for others to build on and a legacy to leave behind. It makes you want to go out and conquer the world.”
The honorees of the Ford Leadership Scholars Program had the experience of a lifetime thanks to Ford’s sponsorship. By attending a leadership camp, they were able to listen to several speakers, visit different places, and plan their own community project.