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Ike student selected to serve on FFA social media team

Gabby Barber says she's excited to be one of five applicants selected to serve on the social media team for the 92nd state FFA convention May 1-2.

"I applied last year and I didn't get in, but then this year I applied again," she said.

The application process called on her to write why she wanted to serve on the team. She admits she didn't know what social media were until her ag teacher came to her with the application. Now she's prepared to post convention doings on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and possibly even Snapchat. 

She's been directed to go up the night before the convention starts, attired in her official FFA dress, "well-groomed, responsible, excited about the opportunity, involved and committed to the social media team for the duration of convention," according to Haley Ashwood, communications intern with the Oklahoma FFA Association.

Gabby explains it thus: "They introduce you to everybody, and they teach you basically how to operate all the behind-the-scenes networking ... Whatever position they decide to put me in, I'll be in charge of mandating what goes on social media about (the) state convention, ... making sure that all the proper information is executed correctly."

The 16-year-old Eisenhower High School junior is the daughter of Felesha and Carey Barber. She says she didn't grow up in FFA but came to it from the outside. She doesn't show livestock herself, and when she first joined, she didn't know anybody except for her ag teacher.

Now she says her favorite part of FFA is the quality of people. Even her parents picked up on the fact that there was a difference between her FFA friends and her other friends.

"Not to belittle anybody else  that isn't in the FFA  but I just mean that when you become part of something greater than yourself like that, and there's tangible evidence, like official dress, to be able to associate with it, it's just a representation of so much hard work that goes into whatever you do ... There's just a kind of respect that comes along with it that's really unlike any other organization," she said.

This is her second year of serving as reporter for the Lawton FFA chapter, and the effort she puts into it is really starting to pay off.

She just had the honor of receiving a scholarship to attend Washington Leadership Conference. This summer she will enjoy an all-expenses-paid, week-long trip to Washington, D.C., in the company of thousands of FFA members.

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