Image for Surrounded by Sunshine

Surrounded by Sunshine


The weather last week was absolutely beautiful. You could definitely tell because as I was walking on K-State campus, everyone looked so bright and happy. This all got me thinking more deeply about FFA week that happened just recently and all the incredible members, ag teachers, national officer, national staff, and community members (the list goes on and on) that I met.  

As we headed to our first school, the sun slowly started to rise so I immediately pulled out my phone and snapped some pictures. If you don’t already know I am a big picture person. I love capturing as many moments as possible because every moment is a piece of time we don’t ever get back. There’s just something so special about looking back at pictures and remembering stories that occurred on that specific day. I told myself that I was going to take tons of pictures this week and oh boy, I sure did!  

As a team of six, we ended up visiting 49 chapters. My travel buddy Eric, and I had an opportunity to visit 17 out of those schools. Thinking about all the people I met warms my heart. Going into FFA week I didn’t realize I was about to have one of the best weeks of my life.  

We did things all the way from helping out with the Ag Olympics and seeing so many people get competitive like none other at McLouth, to giving a workshop to a group of eighth graders for the first time in Cherryvale. I also had a deep conversation with a group of students at Madison who poured their hearts out and shared their thoughts about how FFA is a place for everyone. A girl from Royal Valley who was shy in the beginning opened up to me about all her passions which inspired me to reflect on a lot of things in life.  

These are just a few out of the many events that happened that will stick with me for the rest of my life. At every school there was something so memorable to take away.  

Even on the mornings when it was four degrees outside, there was sunshine in my soul because I knew I was about to meet more incredible FFA members that shine brightly every day. I saw potential in everyone I met, and it lit a fire in me and gave me the realization of wanting to be a better person for the people around me.  

The girl who was quiet and reserved from Royal Valley shined just as much as the rest of the group. It shows that even the people we may not hear or see all the time have just as much value to add and be that sunshine everyone needs in life.  

Even on days that are cloudy and extremely windy like they often are in Kansas, know that there is sunshine that surrounds you and better yet, there is sunshine in your heart. We are capable of being a ray of sunshine to the people who surround us. There is sunshine in every story and in every individual.  

Whatever you’re doing today, I hope you see the sunshine in others and that others see the sunshine in you. So, get your cameras ready to capture a whole bunch of moments just like me, go chase that sunshine, and make it the best one yet!  


Lydia Watanabe

State Reporter