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  THOMAS’ KEYNOTE INSPIRES RELENTLESS SERVICE
 
By: M. Ellis, El Campo FFA & K. Niekamp, Frisco-Liberty FFA
July 12, 2017

 
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Emotions soared throughout the first general session of the 89th Texas FFA Convention as more than 12,000 members and guests listened to the powerful story of keynote speaker Keni Thomas. 

Tuesday afternoon, the speaker gave an account detailing his time deployed in the Army, focusing on stepping-up as a leader, collaborating with others, and setting positive examples. 

“Leadership is the example we set for the people we serve, and it’s a choice we make on a daily basis,” said the veteran. 



Thomas’ wise words stemmed from his experiences in Somalia; partaking in Operation Restore Hope which inspired the book and movie, “Black Hawk Down.” He also discussed his passion for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation created for families of those in the Armed Forces. 

His unique ability to incorporate his musical talent into his keynote ignited a spark in the audience. The brutally honest and humorous speech, preached a life of faith and selflessness. 



“There’s 12,000 people in this arena right now,” Thomas said. “Can you imagine the impact we have on the world when we walk out of here and start taking care of each other?”

As Thomas concluded his speech, he asked listeners to remember one final message as they prepared to close the first session.  

“You got it in you. You have the capability and you have the belief,” Thomas said. “And when you believe something, you will live it.”

Reporter: McKenzie Ellis, El Campo FFA and Kirk Niekamp, Frisco-Liberty  FFA
Photographer: Maddie Brown, Henrietta FFA
 
 
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