gilroy ffa
Gilroy FFA members competed in the annual sectional Super Saturday LDE competition at Hollister High School on Jan. 19. Photo courtesy of Gilroy FFA
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On Jan. 19, 21 Gilroy FFA members traveled to Hollister High School to compete against five other schools at the annual sectional Super Saturday LDE competition. 

Through Leadership Development Events, participating FFA members in grades nine to 12 are challenged to develop critical thinking skills and effective decision-making skills, foster teamwork and promote communication while recognizing the value of ethical competition and individual achievement. LDE events occur at the local, state and national levels. 

We had five students compete in the Creed LDE and three students compete in Spanish Creed Bronze Division (ninth-10th graders). The Creed Speaking Leadership Development Event (LDE) recognizes outstanding FFA members in ninth and 10th grade for their ability to present the FFA Creed from memory and answer three questions related to it in English or Spanish. 

The five freshman that competed in the English FFA Creed were: Kevin Carrillo Benitez, Mackenzee Balaoro, Chyanne Garcia, Benjamin Garcia (fourth place, moving onto regional competition), and Samantha Bankston (first place, moving onto regional competition). The three sophomores that competed in El Credo de FFA were McKenna Cooper (first place, moving onto regional competition), Isabella Alvarez-Rubio (third place, moving onto regional competition), and Wyatt Van Laar (fourth place, moving onto regional competition). They were coached by their FFA Advisor, Ms. Allyah Perez. 

Two students competed in the Impromptu LDE. The intention of the Impromptu Contest is to offer a more realistic, practical speaking contest to better prepare our students for public statements, media coverage and general questions about the FFA and agriculture industry. Led by Ag Teacher, Ms. Denell Velador, the two sophomores that participated were Nicholas Hendrickson and Sophia Daoud. 

Ryan Young, Alexis Mydell, Daniel Garamendi, Caitlyn Correia, Sam Miller and Daisy Urias competed in the Job Interview LDE competition and were coached by Ms. Denell Velador. The purpose of the FFA Job Interview Event is for FFA members to develop, practice and demonstrate skills needed while seeking employment in the agricultural industry. 

We had one student compete in the Extemporaneous LDE. During this event, participants draw from 18 agricultural topics then select three of interest. From those three, a student selects the topic of their speech and has 30 minutes to prepare using five resources. Participants then present a four- to six-minute speech on their topic to a panel of judges. After their speech, students answer five minutes worth of questions on the topic they just presented. Sawyer Tankersley respectfully received fourth place in this competition and was coached by Ms. Perez. 

Last but not least, we had three students compete in the Prepared Public Speaking competition. Students researched a topic of interest and then put together a creative, six- to eight-minute informative speech. Hazel Quintero (second place, moving onto regional competition) discussed the experiences of members in the FFA; Ari Rutman (third place) wrote a paper about California’s water issues; and Adrian Figueroa’s (fourth place) topic was on the public’s perception of GMOs. The members were coached by Ms. Perez.

We are so proud of all of our competitors and cannot wait to see how our members thrive at the upcoming regional competition on March 8 in King City.

Isabella Alvarez-Rubio is the 2023-2024 Gilroy FFA Chapter Officer.

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