Greenbrier High School 2018 graduate Colton Ray recently received a $1,000 LaCrosse Footwear Inc. scholarship from the National FFA (Future Farmers of America) Organization.

Ray was a member of FFA in high school as well.

He said when he first found out he received the scholarship, he felt a mixture of excitement and relief.

“It ultimately reflects the hard work and commitment that my parents, my advisors, and Greenbrier FFA, gave to me,” Ray said. “It goes to show that FFA is not just an organization that does the bare minimum. They are willing to go above and beyond to help you in your future endeavors, and that is something unique because they are embodying the fact that: they are not just here for your four years in high school, they're going to be a backbone for your higher education and get you to where you want to be.”

Ray plans to attend Texas A&M University this fall where he will major in geographic information science and joining the Corps of Cadets.

“This scholarship is going to help me obtain some of my much needed supplies that are necessary to aid in a leadership program such as the Aggie Corp,” he said.

This scholarship is one of 1,829 awarded through the National FFA Organization's scholarship program this year, according to a news release and, currently, 114 sponsors contribute more than $2.5 million to support scholarships for students.

For 34 years, scholarships have been made available through funding secured by the National FFA Foundation, This generous funding comes from individuals, businesses and corporate sponsors to encourage excellence and enable students to pursue their educational goals.

The 2018 scholarship recipients were selected from 8,831 applicants from across the country. Selections were based on the applicant's leadership, academic record, FFA and other school and community activities, supervised agricultural or work experience in agricultural education and future goals.

The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 653,359 student members who belong to one of 8,568 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The organization is also supported by 344,239 alumni members in 2,051 alumni chapters throughout the U.S