The FFA program at Asotin High School opened up a new world for senior Aaron Boyea.
The soon-to-be graduate said his family doesn’t have ties to the agricultural world, but that’s the field he wants to pursue for a career.
Boyea will attend George Fox University in Newberg, Ore., to get his bachelor’s degree in business administration. He later hopes to get a master’s degree in the same subject, so he can one day work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture or land a job at a big agricultural business.
“This is definitely a new path (for my family)” Boyea said. “I knew I always wanted to go into business, but when I was just starting in high school (FFA) opened my eyes to the world of agricultural business.”
Boyea, who is one of 43 seniors set to graduate Saturday, will also play football at George Fox, where he has been awarded a merit scholarship of $20,000 a year.
He’s ready to take on his next adventure, albeit with some apprehension about leaving the “small community feel” of Asotin.
“You are kind of leaving behind everything you have known for the past 12 years,” he said. “Just to get to this point is rewarding, but it’s also daunting because you don’t know what’s in the future.”
Along with football and FFA (formerly Future Farmers of America and now called the National FFA Organization), Boyea played basketball, baseball and was a member of the National Honor Society at Asotin. He was also named a valedictorian, after earning a 4.0 grade point average.
His senior year, and his chance to win another state title in baseball, were cut short by the pandemic when schools closed for the rest of the semester.
“It was definitely different and caught all of us by surprise. One week we were having normal school, and the next week it all went away,” Boyea said. “It’s unfortunate that there were a lot of opportunities that we did miss out on, especially the senior class, but I’m happy with the school and what they did to help us through this process.”
Although Boyea won’t be able to participate in a traditional graduation ceremony, he was able to walk across the stage. The footage taken from the personalized graduation ceremonies held last week will be used in a video set to debut Saturday.
“A lot of people tell us that we have gotten more recognition than any graduating class in the past, but the thing is, we never really wanted that,” Boyea said. “We wanted a normal graduation. But, with the circumstances, I feel (the school) did the best they could do.”
The 18-year-old will most miss the relationships he’s created throughout his time in Asotin.
“My favorite part about high school was probably the camaraderie with all of my friends,” Boyea said. “Our class was a great class to be a part of. We all had each other’s back, we all had fun and we all had a drive to learn and get better.”
He said he’s thankful for his teachers, classmates and his parents, Dawn and Steven, for all the memories he’s created.
Tomtas may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or (208) 848-2294. Follow her on Twitter @jtomtas.
Asotin’s Class of 2020 will participate in a virtual graduation ceremony via Zoom at 11 a.m. Saturday, during which Superintendent Dale Bonfield will declare the students graduates. The students and their families will receive a link they can share with others before the ceremony.
Afterward, the Zoom recording and a graduation video will be available for all to view on the high school’s website at www.aasd.wednet.edu/highschool.