Alumni Spotlight: Jason Wetzler

Jason Wetzler
Jason Wetzler

Jason Wetzler, a student at Oklahoma State University, is a former State FFA Officer, National FFA Officer and OASC Alumni. Jason grew up in an agricultural family in Clackamas, Oregon. In 7th grade he attended his first OASC event: Spring Conference. Since then, he has taken every opportunity he has been given through OASC, FFA, his faith and his family and used it to develop leadership traits of service, humility and understanding and accepting others—three things Jason bases his life on.

Jason (left) and his best friend at OASC Summer Camp in the Pink Panther Council
Jason (left) and his best friend at OASC Summer Camp in the Pink Panther Council

An important person in Jason’s life is his Grandma Dorothy. Recently she told him, “The most important thing you can do in life is to help other people.” Jason accredits his Grandma Dorothy for teaching him this life lesson of serving others. Growing up in Clackamas, he wishes he took more time to recognize the needs of others in his school and community. Now, living in Stillwater, Oklahoma, he takes the time to engage in the community. “If you really want to make a difference,” Jason said, “invest in where you are and the people that surround you.”

On a poster in Jason’s room, he has the words “Always strive to be humble.” It took a true friend to point out his arrogance toward the end of his Junior Year. Although he didn’t appreciate it at the time, it took a few months for him to recognize the importance of being humble. “Humility doesn’t mean thinking less of yourself,” Jason said. “It just means thinking of yourself less. If a student can do that consistently, they’re already becoming a great leader.”

Jason giving his “Retiring Address” as a National Officer at the National FFA Convention
Jason and his parents at the National FFA Convention

Service and humility contribute to the third important leadership trait in Jason’s life. “OASC gave me [the boost] to be comfortable with people that are different than I am,” Jason said. Through conferences, workshops and camps, Jason took the time to get to know others, and learn how understanding others helps him become a better leader. He even met his best friend through one of his summer camp councils—Pink Panthers. “Due to the diversity I experienced in my OASC relationships, accepting everyone and anyone in the blue and gold jacket became that much easier.”

Jason believes all students should attend OASC events “for the same reason [he thinks] students should be in band, play sports, or ask their crush out on a date. You’ve got to do things that make you uncomfortable. Organizations that stretch the comfort zones of leaders who probably already have pretty big comfort zones can only be beneficial. A mentor of mine once said, “There’s no growth in a comfort zone and no comfort in a growth zone.” I found I grew the most when I was uncomfortable. OASC helped me to become comfortable, being uncomfortable.”

Jason attended Sunrise Middle School where he accredits his leadership Teacher Mrs. Lute for his introduction to Leadership. He graduated from Clackamas High School in 2011.