GREENSBORO, NC (WGHP) — The National FFA Convention and Expo was held in October in Indianapolis, Indiana and students from Southern Guilford High School were there taking it all in, along with their advisors.
“I was standing there just talking to some people at an NC State booth, and I saw the kids walk by and so I caught the back of their jacket that said ‘North Carolina School for the Deaf.’ And I said, ‘I didn’t know they had a program.’ And the professor at NC State said, ‘yeah, they do.’ And my first thought was, ‘how do these kids communicate with all the other FFA members?'” said Brad Hensley, one of the advisors.
He knew that communication was a big part of the organization. He says he thought back to his FFA experience in high school.
“I said, man, communication was one of the biggest pieces of what I got out of FFA. And so immediately I thought about our ASL program at Southern and I said, you know, we ought to really try to do some type of cross-curricular piece for that!”
So, when they returned to school, he reached out to Southern Guilford’s ASL teacher, Rebecca Bryant.
“We’ve been looking for some cross-curricular opportunities and I was actually in FFA when I was in high school, and so I was really excited when he brought it to me. A lot of my students are in FFA, so I was really excited about the opportunity.”
So were the students, even though she says they were a bit nervous.
“They’ve never created a video to send to other people before. They normally create videos to send to me for assignments, so their first time actually putting themselves out there in that way, and I’m really proud of them,” she said.
The students wanted the video to be perfect.
“It took a couple tries to get the video ready to be sent,” said sophomore Delaney Scism. “Then we thought we got it and we had to redo the whole thing a couple of minutes later, but we finally got it.”
It turned out to be something they could be proud of.
“I loved it,” said Emerson Beaman, also a sophomore. “I thought it was really great. And just being able to communicate with other people, I loved It.”
So did the FFA members at the School for the Deaf!
“We got wonderful emails and a video from even one of the students at the school, so they’re really excited to see that,” Bryant said.
Now they have new friends and some new leadership skills too.
“Anytime you can be that first group that reaches out and says, ‘Hey, let’s be first, let’s be that leader.’ You never know who might follow you across North Carolina, across the nation,” said Hensley. “We are huge on leadership with our kids.”