National FFA convention 2016 is done and in the books. Yet this doesn't mean that everything we’ve experienced can be forgotten. While at the mall one day for lunch with my chapter we were sitting in the food court and the three national talents were practicing. It was something to behold. Each of them sang with such a passion that I could only dream to have. I had the chills after each performance.
I had the opportunity to speak with one of the talents after she had finished. I spoke with Jaci Lane Dietrick who is a seventeen-year-old hailing from the state of Oklahoma and the Newcastle FFA chapter. She is also in National Honor Society, choir, show choir, stuco, Spanish club, FCCLA, she rodeos and sings for charity. I asked her what was the deciding factor for her final song to be God Bless the USA. She told me that it was because she feels that she should honor the men and women who are serving and have served that fought for her right to be where she is today. To me that was the best reason to have.
We continued to talk about her other song choices and how she made those decisions. In the first round, she sang “House of The Rising Sun”. As she went through to the next round the judges chose for her to sing, “Me and Bobby McGee”. The first time she heard this song was because of her family friend Miss Barbara. The first time she heard it she didn't like the song. It wasn't until right before Miss Barbara would pass away that she requested Jaci learn the song. It took her a while to be able to sing the song. Just like Miss Barbara had told her, it would take her far, and it has. It wowed the judges and allowed her to move into the final three. All the talent contests were given twenty minutes to pick a song and Jaci was left with a tough decision. Does she sing her hardest hitting song which was House of The Rising Sun or does she sing the song she ends every show with, God Bless the USA? Before she could even finish asking her friend Mr. Connor Jones which song she should do, he cut her off and told her to God Bless the USA. It was decided.
It didn't matter if she won National Talent, when she received her letter of acceptance to go to the national talent contest, she knew in her heart she had won. She has received many titles competing. In 2013 she won Oklahoma's Got Talent. The next year she won another title with Me and Bobby McGee. To Jaci, it was never about winning the talent she just wanted to try her hand at it. In doing so that alone made her a winner.
Sarah Doner, Ohio Rep.
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