Student Work


November 13, 2019, #28

By Xavier Carreon, Alpha Elementary Student

Last year, my family and I went to my great grandma’s house. Our family wanted to see her for the last time.

In the beginning, we were eating some good, homemade food. We had some turkey rolls for appetizers. We also had hamburgers for our afternoon lunch. It was a great last meal with her and we were having so much fun.

Suddenly, we started to pray for her. We all bowed our heads and closed our eyes. It was amazing. We started our prayer by thanking God for giving my grandma’s life. We asked God to take care of her in Heaven. At the end of prayer, we asked God to heal her and have a happy rest of her life.

Eventually, my parents told me it was our last day with her. We went outside to play for a little bit with each other and have a great time. We had to leave, so we all said our goodbyes and gave hugs but we didn’t want to leave. But, eventually we left — we didn’t want to, but we left. I wanted to spend more time with her, but we couldn’t.


November 13, 2019, #21

By Nateline Ramirez, Alpha Elementary Student

One year ago, my family and I went on a trip to Washington. We wanted to see my family on my tio’s birthday.

First, when we arrived at my tio’s house in Washington, we saw my tia first then my tio came home from work. We all hugged them and missed them. We were so happy to be there for his birthday. I was so happy to see lots of my family in Washington.

Next, my family from Washington really wanted tacos for lunch, so my tio went to the store to buy some meat and came back to make them with my dad. My family and I talked and talked and then the tacos were ready. They were so good that we licked our plates clean. I ate so much it made me feel so sleepy.

Finally, my grandma and tia wanted to dance and everyone thought it was a good idea. We danced outside in the rain but no one cared. We all had a good time listening to the beautiful Mexican music while dancing in the nice rain.

It felt good to see my family from Washington, that I thought it was very fun. I hope to go there again someday. I will never forget my trip to Washington.


November 12, 2019, #22

By Anjelo Reyes, Alpha Elementary Student

Four years ago, my family and I went to Santa Cruz. We went so that we could spread our grandpa’s ashes into the ocean.

First, we went to Santa Cruz to spread my grandpa’s ashes. From where I was, I could hear the loud engines from the boat. I was also able to hear my family talking too.

As soon as we got off the boat, we said goodbye to everyone. So my family and I started walking to the car. Right when we got to the car, we got in and started driving.

In the end, we went to my grandma’s house in Firebaugh. When we first entered the house, it smelled really good, so we ate lunch. After we were done eating, we were just laying down and relaxing. After a few hours of relaxing, we decided it was time to leave.

In conclusion, I felt pretty sad because my grandpa had passed away. The rest of my family was pretty sad, too. My hopes are that he makes it to Heaven.

Lastly, I’ll never forget his laugh and smile.


By Merary Hernandez, Madera FFA Reporter

The Madera Agriculture Department is known throughout California and the nation as one of the strongest departments. It is home to 800 FFA members and boasts seven different career pathways for students to develop their skills and become college or career ready. With a program and FFA chapter as strong as they are, what keeps Madera South students and some members from taking advantage of the opportunities right there on campus?

In most cases students are diverted from the agriculture pathways by their parents, since most people associate agriculture with farming and field work. The desire for their children to have a better life than they did motivates parents to steer their kids to the business or health pathways. 

I come from one of those families. My mother is one of the hardest working people I know. My entire childhood she worked everyday to make sure that my sister and I were taken care of by working in the fields. When she made the decision to move us from Fresno to Madera to be closer to family, I had no idea how much my life would change. I had always been told that when I started my career I needed to be my own boss, “That is when you know you’re successful” my dad would tell me.

I remember the day I signed up for classes at Madera South High School and was told that I couldn’t enter the business pathway. There were no open classes and instead I was put into Ag Science 1. I was devastated, how could I be involved in agriculture. I hated getting dirty, animals smelled and the uniforms were hideous. When I got home I cried to my cousin Danny and he couldn’t understand why I was upset. You see Danny LOVED FFA. LOVED IT. By the time he graduated high school he was a Greenhand officer, won two State Proficiencies, was a National Proficiency Finalist and planned on earning his American Degree. As I sat there complaining and telling him how I didn’t want to become a farmer and that I wouldn’t learn anything beneficial towards my future he stopped me. Looked me in the eye and said, “Agriculture isn’t farming, that’s just what you think when you hear that word. There’s so much more than that.”

I had always looked up to Danny, and I decided to give it a year. In that year I found a place I could belong. I made friends, joined judging teams and even became a chapter officer. My eyes were opened to the multiple opportunities that the agriculture industry offered. As my time in FFA grew my knowledge of the industry as a whole did too. Through judging teams and the variety of pathways available I was able to sample different aspects of the industry. My animal science classes taught me that the animal industry was not for me. Thanks to my cooperative marketing team I knew I wasn’t cut out for Ag business. As I talked with my advisor one day about my desired career in the fashion marketing management, she asked me what I thought of Ag communications. We talked for hours about the impact communication has on the agriculture industry and how someone with my background could have a huge say in the way the narrative played out. As I thought about what she said I realized she was right. Who better to educate the world on something than someone who first did not understand it?

While I learned about the world of agriculture, my family was learning as well. Creating a balance was hard. My mom is very traditional and wanted me to be home and at times the late hours and weekend trips were hard to comprehend when she wanted me at home. It was a true learning curve and by increasing my involvement and what I was doing, she was able to see that those late night practices were more than just hanging out with my friends and that I was there working hard. Even after four years the balance is still hard at times; I do occasionally have to miss out on FFA events because of things at home. Even with all of the struggles we had finding a place for FFA in our lives, my mom can now say that she is glad I got as involved as I did. Three years ago I would have never imagined what I would become. My love of media has allowed me to work with California FFA to develop promotional materials for their Big Day of Giving, I’ve been a chapter officer twice, showed animals at the fair, received my California State FFA Degree, developed a magazine for Madera FFA, and promoted our program in front of the Madera Unified School Board. 

Would I have become the outspoken and determined woman I am today if I had been given another pathway or changed classes the moment a spot became available? Maybe? I know that the four years I have been a part of the Madera FFA chapter and Ag Department have changed me and opened my family’s eyes to the opportunities of the agriculture industry. I will forever be thankful for the lessons learned and memories made while wearing that (actually not that bad) FFA uniform. 


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