“Living to Serve,” the last line of the FFA motto, shows the central role service plays in our organization. The Living to Serve (LTS) Platform empowers students to make a positive impact in their communities. The LTS team is integral to the work we do in carrying out our mission at the local level. Additionally, we emphasize giving back at National FFA. This goes deep with our employees at the National FFA Center, as the majority of them are also donors.
Here’s a Q and A with one of our staff who not only gives of her talent but also gives back to FFA through our employee giving campaign. Meet Stefonie Sebastian, education specialist on the LTS team.
Q: What does “Living to Serve” mean to you?
Stefonie Sebastian: “Living to Serve” is having an awareness of what is going on around you and how you may be able to utilize your time, talent or treasure to make things better.
Q: What is your FFA background?
SS: Unfortunately, my school district did not offer FFA. I learned of FFA through my work at the Indiana Department of Education where I funded agriculture service-learning projects as part of Learn and Serve Indiana. I also served as a National Days of Service Host Site Volunteer before becoming a member of national staff.
Q: Are you a current alumni member?
SS: Yes! Even though I did not wear the blue jacket, I am proud to be an FFA supporter through the alumni program.
Q: Why do you give back to FFA?
SS: As national staff, I see how FFA chapters are working to improve themselves, schools, communities, states and the world through service projects. By giving back to FFA, I get to play a part in supporting them in their efforts.
Q: What would you say to others considering a gift to support FFA?
SS: There is no gift too small to make a difference in the lives of FFA members. With a gift to FFA you start a ripple effect that will be felt by FFA members and those who support them for years to come.
Q: What would you say to other current supporters of FFA?
SS: THANK YOU! Your gift has allowed students to engage in leadership activities that are shaping their lives and communities.
Q: What is your favorite thing about working at National FFA?
SS: My favorite part of working at National FFA is supporting FFA chapters, advisors and members who are making a difference in their schools and communities. FFA members are not future leaders, they are current leaders who are building stronger communities every day!
Q: How long have you worked for FFA and how long have you been working with the LTS team?
SS: I am in my ninth year with National FFA and have administered Living to Serve grants long before it was a team name.
Q: What is your favorite part of your job?
SS: My favorite part of the job is hearing the impacts of service-learning projects from advisors and FFA members. These students and their advisors are doing amazing things!
Q: What do you enjoy in your spare time?
SS: In my spare time I like to read, swim and take road trips.
Q: What else would you like us to know about you?
SS: I embraced my passion for service after I graduated from college and served as an AmeriCorps*VISTA for nearly three years. The AmeriCorps program is often referred to as the domestic Peace Corps and I would recommend people, young or old, look into it if they would like to serve their country in a non-traditional way.