VYPE: Why was Oklahoma State the right place to continue both your academic and horse-riding career?
AS: I was originally drawn to OSU because of its well-known agriculture department and the opportunities it offers within the equine industry. I was considering a couple of different schools but OSU offered me the most financial aid with the best program, and was in-state tuition.
VYPE: What were your first impressions of Broken Bow when you moved there?
AS: When I first moved to Broken Bow, we were blessed with really welcoming neighbors that helped us move in and that was my first dose of the kind of people that live here. After some time I realized that everyone knew of everyone and it didn’t take long to make friends and get acquainted with the people in the community. I was really nervous to move at first, but the people we met at the beginning gave us a good first impression and calmed my nerves quite a bit.
VYPE: What are some things that helped you get through the move?
AS: My relationship with God is what got me through the move. In [North Carolina], I always had friends to rely on and when we moved I didn’t have that comfort anymore. This pushed me to strengthen my relationship with God and my family. I realized that everything around me is temporary and could change in an instant, but no matter what happens, I can find strength and peace through prayer and his word.
VYPE: When did you start to grow fond of Broken Bow?
AS: I started to grow fond of Broken Bow as my friendships began to develop through school and extracurriculars. I also remember when I went to my first FFA Christmas dance learning to two-step, I had such a good time and I remember thinking that there’s no way anyone would do this from my old school. It was cool to start to learn the small differences that come with living in different parts of the country. I began to appreciate them as time went on.
VYPE: What are some life lessons you learned through FFA?
AS: Some of the biggest lessons I remember learning through FFA is the importance of getting out of your comfort zone, appreciating and using everyone’s abilities, and the importance of hard work…I remember time and time again being pushed out of my comfort zone for different FFA activities and every time I was left with better skills and appreciating the discomfort. It taught me that getting out of your comfort zone is the only way to ever grow your comfort zone. I learned the importance of using everyone’s best abilities to work together while being on the officer team and on competitive teams with other students. I learned the importance of hard work through the many new things I tried and competed in. I have always had a want to win and been competitive, but I began to understand the hard work you have to endure to actually have success.
VYPE: How do you hope your Broken Bow classmates remember you?
AS: I hope that I was able to show the kind of love that God calls us to show. I know I fall short, but I always want to be an example of a leader and a friend to anyone I come in contact with. I hope that I will be remembered as just that.