Monday, October 10, 2011

Future Farmers of America—Gordon chemistry student leads Massachusetts at National Convention

October in Indianapolis: the city morphs into a hub of agriculture for students across America. Convention halls, fair grounds and stadiums are prepared for one enormous gathering. The population of the city skyrockets in a matter of hours. Even street names are changed—you may find yourself driving not on your typical city street, but on “FFA Way."

For this, one of the largest conventions held in the United States, over 50,000 people involved with the Future Farmers of America assemble for the organization’s annual National Convention. Student representatives from their home states attend workshops, participate in competitions, join in service projects and discuss agricultural issues in delegated panels. Mollie Enright, a freshman chemistry major at Gordon, is the president of the Massachusetts chapter of FFA and will represent Massachusetts at this year's national convention.

Enright’s interest in chemistry and agriculture emerged during her very first chemistry class in high school. “As the year went on, I realized that chemistry just made sense to me,” Enright reflects. “I love how it’s the basis for all things, and how it exemplifies how big and complex our God truly is.” Mollie brought that same fascination to Gordon this year, where she is enjoying the academic challenges and possibilities Gordon's programs bring to her studies—like the chance to join Gordon's student chapter of the American Chemical Society. “I am very excited for the opportunities presented through the chemistry program here,” says Enright.

Even before she arrived on campus, however, Enright had achieved much in the field of chemistry by participating in her high school’s chapter of FFA. There she worked her way from junior officer to A-team member, to treasurer, even vice president of her school’s chapter. Enright says that “the magnitude of the National Convention” inspired her to run for Massachusetts president following her senior year. But before any such ranks were earned, Enright struggled with uncertainty about joining at all. “My dad was an aggie," she explains, “I was reluctant to join the FFA because that was his thing." Attending an agricultural high school, however, gave Enright numerous opportunities to get involved, and her school’s FFA advisor helped her see the benefits of joining. “After being a part of the State Convention [that year], I was hooked,” says Enright.

As the president of FFA’s Massachusetts chapter, Enright will lead the state's FFA association and work alongside other leaders to help members develop their own unique talents, exploring their interests in a broad range of career pathways. That is the core purpose of FFA, a purpose for which Enright has become a front runner. “Imagine,” FFA encourages, “A world where…community [means] everything, where passion abounds and where there is no such thing as impossible.” Enright has proven that anything is possible for Gordon students with that same abounding passion. 

Photo: Massachusetts FFA State Officer Team with Deval Patrick, Governor of Massachusetts, on Agricultural Day 2011 at the State House, where Gordon student Mollie Enright spoke in the Hall of Nurses. Photo from left to right: Kimberleigh Martinson, Reporter; Nicole Leslie, Treasurer; Massachusetts Goveror Deval Patrick; Ashley DeCosta, Vice President; Mollie Enright, President; Patrick Marshall, Secretary. 

Story by Gordon student Rebekah Connell ’15, an English major from New York and student writer for the Office of College Communications.

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