The Future Farmers Of America program gives High School students opportunities that extend beyond the family farm. In tonight's Kids In Action, reporter Rick Carhart takes us to the small town of McArthur in Shasta County, where a Fall River High School student is preparing for the trip of a lifetime.
Sheldon Overton may live in a sleepy mountain community...but he's one busy High School Senior.
Sheldon says, "I play football, I golf, I'm active in student government, part of the California Scholarship Federation, MESA, I've been in band and musical theater since Freshman year."
Sheldon's teacher and FFA Advisor Rick Neugebauer says, "to have him in our program shows other kids the opportunities that exist for them if they're much like him and want to be involved in FFA and show animals at local and state fairs and want to play football as well."
The Fall River football team will be missing their starting tight end for a game next month as Sheldon joins over 50,000 students in Indianapolis for the 85th National FFA Convention. But he's not just going as a regular FFA member.
Sheldon says, "I'll be voting and standing in on committee meetings for things that'll affect the national FFA bylaws and constitution."
Sheldon will be one of just 36 delegates from California, and his teacher back home knows it can be a life-changing experience.
Mr. Neugebauer says, "he'll come away with a whole new set of goals and things that he would like to accomplish, I'm sure."
The journey from the Fall River Valley to the big city can be a giant step for a small-town kid... but it won't change this young man.
Sheldon says, "living in such a small community I'm really blessed to take part in FFA and football and drama, do all these things I wouldn't be able to do if I went to a bigger school."
And Mr. Neugebauer, who also happens to be the head football coach, is happy to show off his star student, saying, "I think it's key that communities see that kids like this exist even in small little towns like McArthur."