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West Orange Times & Observer Wednesday, Apr. 22, 2020 2 months ago

Influencer of the Week: Jessica Stroup, West Orange High

Stroup, a rising senior, will serve next year as president of the Orange County FFA Federation.
by: Danielle Hendrix Associate Editor

West Orange High junior got involved in FFA at SunRidge Middle and has never looked back. She shows sheep both locally and across the country and served as the West Orange High FFA president this school year. Stroup also served this year as treasurer for the Orange County FFA Federation and now is its 2020-21 president-elect.


When and how did you get involved with FFA?

I got involved with FFA back in middle school, at SunRidge Middle in sixth grade. I joined but got more involved when my ag teacher asked me to show a lamb my eighth-grade year. Ever since then, I just fell in love. In high school, I became more active, started competing more and became an officer. 

What is your favorite FFA memory so far?

It has to be the state convention. We all go just to listen to different inspirational speakers, and we all just have a good time. We can meet new people across the state. You really grow closer together as a family, and you get to find out more things you’re interested in, experience new things with different people and meet new friends. 

Why did you want to become president of the Orange County FFA Federation?

From attending the state convention, I just fell in love with the state office team, which really inspires everyone around the state. They all make a difference in your life, so I (want to) make that difference at any kind of level. This year I did that at the chapter level.  … I just love that feeling of people trying to find their passion for things, and by being on the county level, you get to experience that on a much bigger scale.

What will your role entail?

This year as president, I’ll take more of a direct leadership role through helping my team be the best and best serve our county. I’ll be taking charge and helping my team come up with, run and host events around the county.

What do you love most about FFA?

It all goes back to those memories that I’ve made competing at different things with different people. You get to have opportunities that you don’t really get to have in any other organization. By being in FFA, I have found exactly what I want to do in my career, and I feel so much more prepared for what I want to go into. The best thing about it is just being able to explore those opportunities and make memories with people that are going to carry on for the rest of my life. 

What are some words that you live by?

Something I’ve always lived by is just living each day to the fullest possible. I just live each day to the fullest and keep going. 

What do you want to do after high school?

After I graduate high school, I do want to try to run for state office and serve at state level. You basically take a year off of school for that. After that, I plan to go out to a school out of state and work on a bachelor’s degree in animal science and a master’s degree in nutrition and become a livestock nutritionist — hopefully working with the USDA in finding those feeds that the livestock will consume and find the best nutrition for the livestock.


Danielle Hendrix is the Associate Editor for the West Orange Times & Observer and the Windermere Observer. She is a 2015 graduate of the University of Central Florida, from which she earned a bachelor's degree in journalism with a minor in world comparative studies. ...

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