Love for Agriculture Fuels Drive for Leadership
I grew up in rural Indiana. My earliest memories are of my family’s farm. Because of the love for agriculture that my family planted within me, I have found my home in agriculturally related organizations. As a ten-year 4H member, I served as President of my township club for three consecutive years. Exhibiting pigs at the county 4H fair led to my involvement in my county’s Livestock Evaluation Team. As a member of this team, I was exposed to FFA and immediately knew I belonged in that particular organization. I spent countless hours after school in my school’s agricultural building preparing for national competitions, chapter events, and building relationships with my peers in FFA.
Leadership at the state level
After serving as my chapter and district’s President, I decided to run for Indiana State FFA Office. I was elected and served as the Indiana FFA State Southern Region Vice President. This prestigious position offered irreplaceable professional development opportunities. I deferred my first year of college and traveled across Indiana to present speeches and leadership workshops. I networked with sponsors, members and stakeholders of our organization.
Working towards the future
At the conclusion of my year of service, I enrolled in Lincoln Land Community College. In addition to my studies, I’ve continued my livestock judging career, traveling the country with my teammates to represent my school in national competitions. In the fall of 2018, I will be transferring to Purdue University to major in Agribusiness and minor in Political Science. Eventually, I envision myself advocating to lawmakers in Washington D.C. on behalf of American Farmers and Ranchers.
Becoming a Pearson Scholar
In the Fall of 2017 I was selected as a recipient of the Pearson Scholarship for Higher Education. The financial reward aspect of the scholarship has alleviated some of the stress regarding my financial future. I have been able to feel less obligated to work extra hours and instead dedicate that time to my studies. I feel much more comfortable with my grades and courses.
Meeting my mentor
Pearson’s financial help has been appreciated, but the mentorship program that goes along with the scholarship has been very beneficial. I speak with my Pearson mentor, Chris, quite often and we discuss life. Our personalities sync perfectly! Being able to ask Chris for guidance has allowed me to find success during internship interviews and additional scholarship applications.
Other influential mentors
I find great value in mentorship. In my mind, it is the key to finding success in life. From a young age, I have been fortunate with influential mentors. My high school agricultural teachers were, and still are, my greatest mentors. I constantly found myself in their offices discussing life’s latest events. Each served as a friend, brother, father, or coach when I needed one. When I was looking for larger leadership roles, they gave me constructive feedback and allowed me to grow as a leader before I stepped up and took new roles. They built me up when I needed confidence, and brought me back down to reality when I was soaring too high. They reminded me of my strengths, and reminded me to do all I could to help others find their strengths as well. I hope to one day have an impact as a mentor the way they have had an impact on me.
Mason is a recipient of the 2017 Pearson Scholarship for Higher Education. Each Pearson Scholar is paired with a Pearson professional mentor who provides support as Scholars progress toward degree completion. We are incredibly proud of all the Pearson Scholars. Please check back as we continue to highlight each scholar’s story!