Career and Technical Education (CTE) of St. Johns County

FFA Chapter #1448 – Success Our First Year!

Future Farmers of America (FFA) is just one of many Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSO’s) available to students in St. Johns County enrolled in career and technical education. CTSO’s give academy students opportunities to learn and demonstrate leadership and technical skills. St. Johns Tech has had an FFA chapter for a few years, but this year we have had the most fulfilling year yet!

Students in the St. Johns Technical High School FFA Chapter #1448 participated in their first competition in February against 40 other middle and high schools in the Aquaculture Career Development Event preliminaries to qualify for state competition. Although our team did not advance to the state level, we are very proud of them. We are truly one of the underdog teams since the academy is in its second year of programmatic and instructional development and that many of our students have to navigate learning disabilities. However, despite the obstacles, these students were able to place 30th out of 48 teams. While this might not seem like a major accomplishment to some, this is quite remarkable for our first time competing. Advancing from this year’s team will be three juniors who will lead the team to the next CDE aquaculture competition and who will help prepare our new recruits to the academy and FFA chapter.

Chapter members also attended our school’s very first FFA Leadership Training Conference. It was held in Haines City, Florida from December 8th – December 9, 2023. Joining 160 FFA members from 41 Florida high schools, four of our Academy of Aquaculture students participated in six facilitated workshops starting on Saturday afternoon, continuing into the evening then wrapping up Sunday morning. Each session had a specific focus to entice their thinking: learning about past FFA members who have been an agent of change in their communities and how for some of them adversity was their drive for change; identifying a problem in their community and becoming an instrument of change; identifying their strengths and weaknesses and developing goals on what they want to become a strength; innovation – thinking outside of the box, trying new things and if failure occurs, trying again; inspiration – learning what or who encourages or inspires them daily; and the last session wrapped up the conference with a review and learning about SMART goal writing. One student came home with a mission to find a dignified solution to homelessness in his community. 

Wrapping up the school year, the chapter has developed a list of fundraising ideas and activities for 2024-2025. Funds generated will be used to support purchasing expenses associated with students and advisors attending student leadership conferences and competition events. For more information about the FFA Chapter at SJTHS or to make a monetary donation to support student engagements, please contact the school.