Vision Beyond Sight: Q&A with Teagan Joseph, Colorado’s FFA State President

Colorado 18-year-old Teagan Joseph from Eaton draws strength from her faith. Currently serving as FFA State President Joseph, who is legally blind, recently recorded a debut album and hopes to inspire others while stretching herself and tackling her challenges.

You’ve accomplished a lot at the relatively young age of 18. What are some of the defining moments of your life thus far, and how do you draw upon those experiences now? 

Most recently, getting elected to serve Colorado FFA as the State President in June, 2023. Serving as a State Officer has been my dream since I was a freshman in high school. My heart is purely focused on getting to serve people and hopefully make them feel like they can overcome whatever challenges lie in front of them.  

Another is when I got to record my first album in Nashville in 2022. Music has always been a major factor in my life. Ever since I was little, I sang in choirs, and I had always dreamed of getting to perform in front of people. I started a solo career in 2020, performing the national anthem at a Pig Show in Eaton. I decided after that moment to keep performing everywhere I could. It’s a much longer story, but, I got to sing the anthem at a few places and ended up catching the eye of a radio show host in CO. I got to perform at the Rocky Mountain Country Music awards, and made a blind joke, causing the host to tell my now manager if I recorded an album, he would love to hear it. Here we are about 2 years later, and I am blessed to have an album out and a music video.  

The third happened in June of 2020, the same weekend as my first solo singing gig, when I experienced the biggest revelation of my life. I was 15 years old and struggled with not getting my license. You see, I was born with a rare eye disease called Lebers Congenital Amaurosis, and I was diagnosed when I was three. The doctors told my parents that I had a milder form of the disease, so I would slowly lose my vision. I was able to blend in with my peers for years, but finally when I turned 15, there was no longer a way to hide it. I was looking at getting a cane while my friends were learning how to drive. I had never truly grieved my blindness until that night in June. I spent that evening crying my eyes out and asking God to heal me just for a day so I could experience all the things I thought I was missing, like driving a car, reading a book, and seeing my parents’ faces. The next day I sang for a Pig Show Church service. Some people asked to pray for me after I sang, and they tried to heal me. It did not go the way I expected. I did not get my vision back physically, but my eyes were opened spiritually. I realized that God has a plan for my blindness, and I was going to stop complaining and start looking for what that purpose was and is. Don’t get me wrong there are still hard days; however, I am still confident and will rejoice in the things I go through because I know God has a plan for it. I know I will see again when I get to Heaven, and I also got a free dog out of it! My guide dog’s name is Astro, and he has been a huge blessing in this journey. He even has an Instagram, blastro_ffa.  

Teagan, her dog, and Loganne Mason, FFA Secretary

You’ve been involved in agriculture for quite a while and, as you mentioned, are now Colorado State FFA President. What’s important about this work to you? 

I am so blessed to serve with nine other amazing individuals who are wonderful. They have made this experience life changing. Serving this year is important to me because there is a gap between the urban and rural populations. We don’t really understand one another, and I am blessed to serve as an advocate for agriculture. I get to live in the middle of Denver and talk to people every day who have never set foot on an operation and explain how their food gets to the grocery store. The thing that truly makes my year of service memorable is getting to make relationships with the members across the state of Colorado. As State Officers we visit every school that has an FFA Chapter. Getting to visit with members and hear their stories and their passion for agriculture is something that nothing else compares to.

It seems like your experience in FFA has really impacted your leadership skills. How would you define leadership, and how do you show up as a leader? 

Leadership is never defined as a position or a title. It doesn’t matter if you are on an officer team or a member. Leading by example is always something I think about. I know people are always watching. You influence your friends, family, peers all day and that makes you a leader. The qualities of a good leader are integrity, humility, ownership, tenacity, excellence, and awareness. I also have a couple things my dad always told me that I think about as a leader. The first was that you are always interviewing. I try to live my life every day with the awareness and confidence that I am proud of what I did. I am going to mess up, but I pray I will always have the wisdom to admit when I was wrong and try to do better the next time. The second thing that has stuck out to me is that a good leader never has the good ideas, but the knowledge and awareness to listen to the good one. I am so blessed to work with a team of fun and amazing leaders who teach me something every day.  

You’re also an accomplished singer. How did you find your way to professional singing, and what’s most meaningful to you about that work?  

Singing has been something I have been passionate about since I was two years old. If you had told me two years ago that this is where my life would be with an album and a music video, I would never have believed you! This is just proof, though, that God has a plan, and we need to just have faith when a door is opened and remember that He has it. All I did was say yes to the doors that were opened. I thought I was not going to pursue music in the fall of 2021. I had auditioned for three national contests and had been told no by all three. Naturally, I just assumed that was the end, but God had a different plan. The only reason I sang at the Stock Show the first time in 2022 was because my mom volunteered for me when I was at a youth group since they needed a singer. They ended up inviting me back to sing two more times that year. What drew me to music was how powerful it is. Music truly is the universal language. I want to use my music to inspire people.  

What are your biggest hopes or goals for the future? 

I have a couple plans, and we will see what God has planned. My Plan A is to pursue music after I retire from the State Office in June this year. I’m in the process of raising money to go back to Nashville to record my second album this year. I’m working on a couple more music videos, and I have a new song that will be released in the fall. Music-wise, I’m just going to keep going until God closes the door. I want to take every opportunity that comes my way. My other plan is to become an Equine Assisted Therapist to help people with disabilities, veterans, and first responders with PTSD. I grew up showing horses and the influence they had on my life was unmatched. Like I said earlier, my heart just wants to serve people, whether that’s through music or horses.  

What would you tell students just graduating high school about leadership and serving their communities? 

Take every opportunity you can. Do not be afraid of being uncomfortable. That is one of the hardest lessons to learn; no one wants to step out of their comfort zone. I know I didn’t. I moved to Denver from a small town a month and a half after I graduated high school, and it was scary. I traveled to Washington DC with one teammate but came home all by myself. That was a terrifying experience, but I did it. Those experiences grew me in ways I could never have imagined. Being uncomfortable is where the most growth comes from. As for being a leader, I encourage each of you to understand that you are already a leader even if you don’t have an official title or position. People are looking up to you even if you don’t know it yet. Do the best you can in all that you do, and then you will be able to be confident in the life you lived. Don’t be afraid to take chances.  



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