Akil Gregory, Student President of the Ohio Chapter of the Future Educators Association presented the following speech at the 2010 All-Ohio CTAE Awards Luncheon, July 29, 2010:
Before we eat this wonderful meal prepared for us, I would like to tell you why I am here. I am sorry to tell you, but if you thought I was here for the food, you are wrong. I, along with the other students that you see on stage, were called here today because we all are state officers in programs designed to prepare us for a future vocation. We all come from different programs such as DECA, FCCLA, BPA, and others. However I will tell you about my experience in FEA. I have always had a passion for education since I was young.
Most people truly do not realize how much teachers are needed in the world. In the past, in ancient cultures, teachers were revered as very knowledgeable people. Socrates, Plato, Euclid, and Aristotle were all teachers of this nature. However, teachers now are not considered nearly as knowledgeable in the subjects they teach. Many often face criticism, and their beginning salary is quite low. So, many might ask why I would want such a job! My answer to them would be the effect teachers have on their students. Teachers have so much power by being present in the classroom and giving students the tools to be successful not only in the course, but in life as well.
Entrepreneurs, entertainers, humanitarians, and politicians alike would not be in the positions that they have earned without the guidance of teachers. This is the drive I have in me: I want to be able to be present in that fundamental stage of their lives and essentially help them to reach their full potential. As I graduate college, I plan to become a college professor in biomedical engineering while performing studies in that area. With all that being said, FEA has prepared me for the field of education by giving me a different perspective in the field. I once believed that although education was important, most teachers only settled for being in that profession because they could not achieve their own goals.
FEA has helped me to realize how it is not only important to have the curriculum present but to have effective teachers as well. Now I stand before you as the President of an organization that I would have never considered joining six years ago. FEA has changed my mind set about teaching and has shown me how important teachers truly are.