Brownwood’s Aubrey Kirk selected for FFA scholarship

Special to the Bulletin
Aubrey Kirk

Recent Brownwood High School graduate Aubrey Kirk has been selected to receive the Houston Livestock Show scholarship in the amount of $20,000. This is a renewable scholarship, meaning after two years, if she meets the qualifications and standards of the scholarship, she is awarded $20,000 more.

Thanks to the generosity of numerous scholarship donors, the Texas FFA will award more than 140 scholarships to outstanding graduating seniors through its academic scholarship program. These scholarships are awarded based on academic and FFA achievements as well as the member's performance in an interview process.

Aubrey’s future plans include attending the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and majoring in Communication Science. She hopes to use her skills to become an agricultural lobbyist or to work in public relations for a company in the ag industry.

When asked for the interview process what she would say to those who donate the money for the scholarship, Aubrey responded, “First and foremost, I would thank them for the generous gift of this scholarship. Donating to a scholarship is an investment in people, and has the power to change the lives of students, like me, who are starting college. Education is very important in my family. Both of my older sisters were in the top three of their class. However, for me, my grades did not come easy and I started to feel depressed. Since I was younger, I have struggled with test taking. People do not see the hours behind closed doors, working to do my best in school. It was not until I became active in FFA that I realized that I was smart and had gifts, too. My strengths have always been communication and leadership. Being in FFA allowed me to find my passion in communicating about and advocating for important issues. The Texas FFA scholarship would greatly help my family with college expenses. My parents have had a child in college for the last seven years, which obviously adds up. This generous scholarship will help me reach my future goals.”

Aubrey has been very active in the Brownwood FFA since her freshman year serving as the Chapter President her senior year as well as Area IV Vice President. She was on the state Entomology, Ag Issues Forum, and Quiz teams, and also showed pigs, sheep, rabbits, and goats at county and major show level.

“My most rewarding FFA moment was representing the great state of Texas as a delegate at the 92nd National FFA convention last fall,” stated Aubrey. “It was inspiring to see so many people joined together as united members of the FFA. I have always heard that once you put on a blue jacket, you’re just as equal as everyone else in the room. But to experience that on a national level was, without a doubt, the most impactful moment of my FFA career.”

“I had the opportunity to serve on the publicity committee,” Aubrey continued. “We worked to improve the online image and perception of the national FFA. This committee was not only fun to be a part of, but helped me realize that this is something I’m extremely passionate about. I thought to myself ‘how cool would it be to wake up everyday and go to a job that advocates for an organization that changed my life.’ I left National convention with not only new friends from across the states, but a new and significant purpose for my future.”

One of the questions they are asked during the interview process is how the recipients plan on giving back. “Before I started my ag classes in high school, I didn’t really understand or appreciate the importance of the ag industry,” Aubrey said. “My eyes were opened to the fact that sustainable agriculture is a way to help end hunger. This is especially important today because as the world population increases, the amount of farmland available to grow food is the same. I have never had to worry about where my next meal would come from. Honestly, I didn’t even think about it much. However, many people all over the world experience hunger or food insecurity every day. I believe that we can do better and that every person should have access to nutritious food. This should be a basic human right. I hope that in my future career, or at least through volunteer work at our local food pantry, I can be a voice to advocate for ending hunger and food insecurity through sustainable agriculture.”

“Mr. Wilson and I and the Brownwood FFA are very proud of the young lady Aubrey has become,” said FFA Advisor and BHS Ag Science Teacher, Chelsea Wilson. “We are excited about her future endeavors and wish her the best of luck.”