Gonzales FFA greets community with ‘Morning Wave’

Gonzales High School FFA members hold signs and wave to drivers during their “Morning Wave” to promote positivity. (Photos by Samantha Bengtson)

Positive signs part of weeklong celebration

GONZALES — About 85 Gonzales High School FFA members gathered on Fifth Street for a morning wave to encourage their classmates, parents and community members to have a positive day Feb. 21.

“Since it’s National FFA Week, we thought a good way to involve our members and greet everyone to have a good morning would be to do our ‘Morning Wave,’” said FFA Chapter Reporter Luis Sainz. “Here, we are trying to bring joy to our community.”

Gonzales High School FFA Chapter has about 350 members, and a large number bared the cold and woke up early for the event Thursday.

The idea to have a “Morning Wave” came from another FFA chapter, Nipomo, and Gonzales Adviser Kelly Dawkins brought the idea back to the other advisers for their take. Dawkins said they would like to continue the event next year.

National FFA Week for the Gonzales Chapter began with its monthly meeting, where fun activities took place. The week included dress-up days for members.

Tuesday was Comfy Country, Wednesday was Camo Day, Thursday was the FFA official dress day and Friday was Agriculture Company/Career Day.

Chapter President Luz Cardenas started her journey toward FFA when she was 8 years old and became a 4-H member. She grew up in the agricultural life and that’s what made her involved in agriculture.

“I’ve been active in FFA since my freshman year, when I started raising cattle,” Cardenas said. “I’ve just had a great experience since, meeting new people and experiencing new things every day.”

Chapter Secretary Ivan Mendez is not only an officer for his high school chapter but also serves as the treasurer for the Monterey Bay Section and is raising a market hog. He spends about four hours a day practicing with his animal and making sure it gets the nutrition it needs.

Mendez competes in speaking competitions as well. When he started FFA, he was nervous to speak in public, but he was determined to run for chapter officer, expand his horizons and not be so shy in public speaking.

“As a sectional officer, I get to communicate and bond with a lot of other people and with the Monterey Bay Section,” Mendez said. “I want to run for regional officer, which is in charge of 1/4 of California FFA.”

Mendez is currently a junior and is planning to run for regional FFA officer for next year.


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