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Braden Burns

Chapter: Kingfisher

Letter to the Members:
I grew up in Kingfisher, Oklahoma, where my parents were ag instructors for 19 years. In my younger years, I dreaded going to school every day. I didn't make very good grades, and I was a menace to my middle school teachers. To say the least, I didn't have a lot of friends. What I did have was a great set of role models going through my local ag ed program. Time after time, year after year, I was given no choice but to spend time with students who were extremely successful and invested in me.

What I learned was that it was extremely difficult to find someone who could change my life; it took someone who was willing to selflessly invest in me. This geared my perspective to be more like them. It wasn’t until I stepped into the ag room in the eighth grade that I found the principles it takes to be successful. John C. Maxwell said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” If there is one phrase that could sum up what I have learned in the last five years it would be that one. It doesn't matter if it's in the speech room or the show barn, you absolutely have to care about something that is bigger than yourself to be able to reach your personal goals. You have to invest in others.

I have learned firsthand there is absolutely nothing in this world that you can do alone. My parents, my agricultural education instructors and countless FFA members have taught this life principle to me. It is solely because of the people who live out their lives to care about others' success that I am able to accomplish anything in my own life.

If you were to ask my third grade teacher where she thought I would be today, it would not be serving as a state FFA officer, but because of this association and those in it, I was able to overcome and learn to invest in the lives of its members just as so many did for me.

My Favorites:
Book: Strong and Weak
Movie: Hitch
Pastime: Cornhole and making pancakes
Animal: Sheep
Role Model: Abby Bell
Vacation Destination: Rocky Mountains
Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio
TV Show: Friends
Sport: Basketball
Dessert: Cheesecake
Restaurant: Buca di Beppo
Singer: Elton John
Speaker: Kelly Barnes
Professional Athlete: Michael Jordan
City: Indianapolis
Holiday: Fourth of July
Oklahoma FFA Association
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