Mistake turns into a positive for Simmons
Mollie Simmons, a 2011 Sweet Springs graduate, might never have become an FFA member if not for a clerical error.
"I was put in by accident," she said. However, after a few days in class she said she "learned how much fun it was."
Throughout her four years in high school, she became very involved in the club. In April, she was one of just four Sweet Springs FFA members to earn the State FFA Degree at the Missouri FFA Convention in Columbia.
Mollie, the daughter of Ron and Renee Simmons of rural Sweet Springs, worked at several restaurants, including Betty's Truck Stop as her Supervised Agriculture Experience (SAE). While there, she worked serving, preparing and cooking food for customers, working anywhere from 40 to 50 hours a week at times.
At the job, she learned several things, including how to better prepare food and serve it in a safe manner.
"I learned how to get stuff out quickly -- if you didn't obviously the customer wouldn't be very happy," she said. "You had to be able to work through different situations. If you ran out of something, you had to improvise and fix it as soon as possible."
Through FFA she has learned "how much the media tries to exaggerate on different topics in agriculture."
"I've learned that you have to sometimes come out of your comfort zone to get the truth across to people," she said. "I've also learned sometimes you can't follow other people, you have to step up and take charge in order to get things done."
Mollie would recommend FFA to anyone, because it has helped her get out of her "comfort zone."
"Whenever I started school I was one of those people who would kind of sit in the back of the room and just watch everybody," she said. "After joing FFA I learned that its okay to just step out and speak your mind. It's made me more outgoing with other people and willing to meet new people."
Her favorite activity as an FFA member was going to the Washington Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. last summer.
"It kind of opens your eyes to see what leadership opportunities there are for you to step up and take charge," she said. "It lets you see what you can do to take charge and try to make the world a better place."
Mollie served as chapter historian as a junior and as sentinel her senior year. She also won multiple awards in speech contests and was awarded proficiency awards in Food Science and Technology and Agriculture Communications.
She went to state last year as a member of the Ag Issues team and was also on the Meats team for three years.
In other school activities, Mollie served as Student Council treasurer and senior class representative. She was also a member of the Flag team, serving as captain her senior year.
She is active as a youth group member at Southside Assembly of God Church in Marshall.
Her hobbies include spending time with friends, doing speeches and doing flags.
This fall she will attend Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau to major in Mass Communications of Broadcasting and Journalism and minor in Advertising.