NORWOOD-YOUNG AMERICA, Minn. (WCCO) — At Central High School in Norwood Young America, students take their studies pretty seriously. But in the FFA Chapter, there is more going on than just bookwork — students also learn the importance of volunteering.

“It’s really what it’s all about. It helps gives the students a sense of purpose. It really gives you a sense of where we can fit-in in the community, and make a difference,” said advisor Jim Mesik.

There were 42 students in the FFA Chapter last year and most were interested in a career in agriculture. You could say it’s ingrained in them and why they’ve learned to turn a corn drive into thousands and thousands of dollars for a good cause.

“For me, it’s a lot of fun to see that the farmers know that we’re willing to give back to the community and that they’re willing to help us do that,” said FFA member Samantha Wickenhauser.

Every fall, Norwood Young America FFA members go to local farmers seeking corn or money donations. That money is then donated to the Courage Center, a rehabilitation center for people with disabilities.

In 2009 they donated nearly $3,000. Last year that number jumped to about $4,500. And over the years, they’ve raised nearly $70,000 for the Courage Center and Camp Courage. The corn drive has become a harvest they look forward to.

“It feels good … that we can help those that need it,” said FFA member Dan Stuewe.

“I’m proud that I can say that I helped somebody out of a tough situation,” said Wickenhauser.

Because they won the Community Spotlight award, they get $500. Mesik said the group will use the money to help pay for a trip to the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis next month, and they also plan on giving some of it to the Courage Center.

If you want to nominate a group that deserves our Community Spotlight award, click here to fill out the form.

Community Spotlight is sponsored by Sieben, Grose, Von Holtum, and Carey.


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