Sara and Aaron Sharp, siblings from the Amanda-Clearcreek FFA in Ohio, experienced a highly unusual, yet equally rewarding experience at the 92nd National FFA Convention and Expo. Aaron competed in the Extemporaneous Public Speaking content and Sara competed in the Creed Speaking contest. It’s a rare occurrence to have siblings compete so closely, and while the contests didn’t go as hoped for the duo (Aaron placed third and Sara placed second, respectively), it’s an experience they agree the’ll never forget.
“It is fun being able to observe my sister compete at the national level for the first time, especially after my third time competing,” Aaron says. He is eager to see his younger sister grow not only in public speaking, but in FFA.
Since he is a multi-year competitor, Aaron was able to guide Sara through the competition and mentor her as she prepared for her contest, and Sara is grateful. “He was giving me support when I was competing on Thursday, and it was really helpful,” she says.
Despite their unexpected outcomes, the process results in many lifelong lessons for the Sharps. Sara learned many public-speaking strategies that will help her as she continues to compete in leadership development events.“Now that I’ve been able to improve my public speaking skills through the Creed contest, it’ll help me in public speaking contests in the future,” she says. She will also be able to confidently and effectively speak to FFA members, judges and future employers.
Aaron, on the other hand, will soon enter the workforce, and he is prepared to invest this communication skills into his social and professional networks. “This experience has given me lucrative communication skills that I will benefit from my entire life,” he says. He aspires to attend law school or become an educator.
“I got amazing support from my community, advisors and those around me,” Sara concludes.
Because of that support, and the FFA experiences they took advantage of, Sara and Aaron are poised to make their marks the world.