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MHS student earns Blue Jacket
A Monache High School freshman is now the proud owner of her very own FFA blue corduroy uniform jacket — thanks to the Tulare County Farm Bureau Blue Jacket Bonanza program.
Catarina Alvarado, who lives with her grandparents, said she could not afford a jacket and would always borrow one from a fellow FFA member or a MHS teacher whenever she participated in an FFA event.
When she heard about the Blue Jacket Bonanza program, a program launched last year to help area students in FFA who do not have the financial means, a chance to earn their own uniform jacket, she knew she had to enter. The process included an application process, a written essay, personal interview and community service.
“To me, the FFA and the jacket means pride, and with that pride comes a feeling of being complete,” Alvarado said. “Since I have been in the FFA, I have felt a sense of worth and have set goals for myself that I had never done before.”
The experience almost didn’t happen. Alvarado was placed in the FFA program by mistake. A mistake that turned out to be fate.
“I have never been more happy to have had a mistake happen because now, I am thrilled and feel like I have a purpose to be here,” Alvarado said. “I really feel that the jacket and FFA will help me build character, leadership, and once again, help me to feel complete with a real purpose.”
Alvarado received her jacket during a special presentation by Tricia Stever-Blattler, executive director of the Tulare County Farm Bureau, Thursday at the Porterville Unified School Board Meeting.
“This program provides a way for Farm Bureau to make an investment in young people today, who are motivated and excited about furthering their education in agriculture thru their active involvement with Future Farmers of America,” Stever-Blattler said. “We are very pleased to see young people achieve their dreams through the outstanding programs that FFA provides. The Blue Jacket Bonanza is just a small way Farm Bureau can help support students in pursuing excellence in agriculture.”
Jason Ferreira, agriculture instructor at MHS, was present as Alvarado received her jacket, and said he felt proud of her accomplishment.
“Catarina is the type of student who leads by example. She is always willing to go above and beyond the call of duty in the classroom as well as while participating in additional Monache FFA activities,” Ferreira said. “She has had tremendous growth in her short time with the Monache Agriculture Department and will continue to shine and be a leader within the community of Porterville and the National FFA Organization.”
Two other students were also recipients of the Blue Jacket Bonanza — Fallon Hammon and Veronica Huerta Marquez, both of Exeter.
For more information, or to financially contribute toward the Blue Jacket Bonanza program, call the Tulare County Farm Bureau at 732-8301.
Contact Esther Avila at 784-5000, Ext. 1045. Follow her on Twitter @Avila_recorder.