Laingsburg senior says FFA helped him find his voice

GRANT GOETSCHY

LAINGSBURG — Grant Goetschy joined Laingsburg’s FFA program in eighth grade at the suggestion of a few friends who thought he might be a good fit — and he’s never looked back.

Now a high school senior, Goetschy credits the program for helping him find his voice, while also teaching him the importance of building relationships to achieve common goals.

“It’s kind of like a family outside of your family,” said Goetschy, who now serves as second vice president of Laingsburg’s FFA chapter. “We have this great support system of really talented and driven individuals that are all trying to make themselves better and in the process you help make each other better.

You can always count on these people and I’ve been really thankful to all of them for always being there for me, and I know that if they ever need anything I’m definitely there for them.”

Goetschy maintains a 4.0 GPA at Laingsburg High School while tackling advanced placement courses in literature and calculus, along with college-level independent study courses in algebra and microeconomics.

The 17-year-old also serves as the president of Laingsburg’s National Honor Society chapter, as news editor of the school newspaper, and as vice president of the class of 2022.

But it’s the FFA, he says, that has made the greatest impact, giving him the confidence to relentlessly pursue his goals and aspirations.

A pivotal moment for Goetschy came during his sophomore year as he and a few classmates formed an agriculture issues team to compete in the FFA leadership competition. The group presented the pros and cons of agrotourism, advancing to the state level where they earned a gold award, the highest ranking.

“I’ve learned (through the FFA) that you have to speak up for yourself and you are capable of achieving the things you want to,” Goetschy said. “We see our dreams realized through the FFA. We had this vision to compete at states and do incredible and sometimes we can manifest that like we’ve done a couple of times now. It’s kind of proof for me that you do have the capability to go the distance and you do have the ability to prove yourself.”

The experience has also instilled in Goetschy the importance of teamwork.

“I can’t do everything,” he said. “I have to rely on others and I have to build relationships with people in order to succeed.”

When it comes to college, Goetschy is taking the approach of “applying now and asking questions later.” He’s been accepted to Michigan State University, Oakland University and Alma College, though he admits his top choice would be the University of Michigan, a school he’s toured multiple times as part of the Cook Family Foundation’s Shiawassee Scholar program.

“It just seems to be the right fit for me,” Goetschy said of Michigan. “I feel like they have all the opportunities that would provide me with both growth while I’m there as well as the career opportunities I wish to get, or even the continued education opportunities I’d get, after graduating.”

Goetschy is not really sure as to what he wants to do in the future, though he’s considering a degree in finance or law.

Law, in particular, is of interest given Goetschy’s desire to help people.

“I think I would enjoy helping people out in navigating sometimes very difficult situations,” he said. “People going through a divorce or a custody battle … I’d like to help these people to express their viewpoint and hopefully help them to navigate that difficult time.”

In the meantime, Goetschy is making the most of his senior year, admitting he’s not quite ready to leave LHS.

Having attended Laingsburg schools since kindergarten, Goetschy said what sets the district apart is its exceptional teaching staff.

“It seems that I’ve always had such understanding and capable teachers to help me meet my needs,” he said. “It’s almost like a family.”

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