Learning to Do

Student Feature

Armando Nevarez smiles reflectively as he talks about the year he spent serving as treasurer of the California FFA State Officer Team, traveling the state and advocating for agricultural education.

Nevarez, a first-generation college student from Holtville, California, returned to Cal Poly in the  fall after taking a year off to fulfill his duties as an elected officer in 2018. 

The opportunity  to serve in that capacity for  California FFA was a great one. It needed me, and  I needed it.

— Armando Nevarez 

“In a year’s time, I explored all corners of the state, meeting people along the way – some of whom I now can't imagine my life without," Nevarez said. 

The agricultural systems management sophomore said that the year served as a time of personal  awakening — rekindling his faith, strengthening  
his views about life's opportunities, and forming relationships with people across the state that he hopes will last a lifetime.

In fact, as luck would have it, he is joined on campus this year by Genevieve Regli, a freshman majoring in dairy science, who served alongside him as secretary of the California FFA State Officer Team. 

“The opportunity to serve in that capacity for  California FFA was a great one,” Nevarez said. “It needed me, and I needed it.”

In all, he visited 38 high schools, meeting with FFA members, giving presentations and workshops,  and sharing future opportunities. In addition, Nevarez and a team of five colleagues planned  the California FFA State Leadership Conference, attended by thousands of high school students, advisors and other guests.

Nevarez said he plans to take his experiences from his year as a state officer and apply them to his time at Cal Poly to strengthen his role at the university with the goal of one day teaching agriculture. 

Nevarez is a member of the Cal Poly Agricultural Engineering Society; College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences’ Ambassadors; Latinos in Agriculture; and a member of the Cal Poly Scholar’s program, a living-learning program aimed at recruiting and retaining high-achieving students from California high schools.

“The values embedded in leadership through the FFA are support, guidance and understanding,”  said Nevarez. “It is about understanding why  people do what they do, guiding them and helping to show them the way. Those same values are the ones that will now continue to guide me every day at Cal Poly.”


Visit the Cultivate Spring 2019 Page to read more stories.

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