Name: Derrek Hardy
Hometown: Browning, Missouri
Academic Major(s): Agriculture Education - Teaching Certification
Who would you say is/are your role model(s)? Why?
My role model is my Great Uncle Gary. Though I never had the opportunity to meet him, I have made it my mission to live on his legacy. I’m currently a member of the National FFA Organization (Future Farmers of America) and was very active in high school where I even competed in the National Job Interview Contest and the National Agriscience Fair. My Uncle Gary was a member of FFA too, and was serving as the Chapter Treasurer when tragedy hit. Sadly when Gary was 16 years old, he lost his life when the model airplane he was flying hit the powerlines killing him instantly. The lesson I took from this accident is that tomorrow is never a guarantee. You never know what might happen so you must live life to the fullest every single day. My Uncle Gary and I shared many of the same interests from what my family members have told me. He lived life to the fullest, always trying something new when he could, setting goals for himself and working towards them until he achieved them, and was an inspiration to everyone he met. This is why he is my biggest role model, and I have learned that you have to experience life whenever you can because of the uncertainties that exist in life.
What excites you the most about being a Summer Welcome Leader?
The biggest thing that excites me about being a 2017 Summer Welcome Leader is meeting all the new students who have chosen to make Mizzou their home for the next four years! I can remember counting down the days until my Summer Welcome because I was so so so excited to FINALLY begin my experience at Mizzou. I hope each of the new students are as excited as I was just one short year ago. I can’t wait to meet each and every one of them and help welcome them into the Mizzou family.
What is your favorite spot on campus? Why?
My favorite spot on campus is pretty unique… It would actually be the sky above campus. I have a family friend that lives in Columbia who flies a hot air balloon and I help crew for them whenever I can. A couple of times I’ve actually had the opportunity to fly over the Mizzou Campus and see all the famous landmarks and traditional spots from a different angle. Seeing Faurot Field from 1000 feet above ground is completely different than standing in the stands let me tell you. Also, if you think David Francis Quadrangle and Jesse Hall is a gorgeous site from the ground, then multiply that by ten and that’s what it is from the sky!
If you had a theme song to describe yourself, what would it be and why?
Oh gosh… It would probably have to be Fergalicious by Fergie! Interesting choice right? Who doesn’t love a throwback, but I can probably be found jamming to this classic 2000s hit song at least once, if not more than once, every single day. I would say this song describes me because it’s upbeat and always puts everyone in a great mood. I’m always bouncing off the walls (if you ask my mom) and am always trying to put a smile on everybody’s face! It will get played at the dance (I promise it will), and yes, I will do the entire rap part in the middle of it. Come find me and throw down at the dance cause “It’s Not a Party Without Derrek Hardy!”
How was your transition process into Mizzou from high school?
My transition into Mizzou was quite interesting let me tell you. I came from a very small town with a population of 200 where I had to drive 30 minutes to go to high school and had a graduating class of 70. Here at Mizzou I am thrown onto a huge campus where some of my classes had 300+ people and I admit I was a little scared. Living in town was a huge difference too, because I was used to looking out my window and seeing dairy cows and fields of corn and soybeans. My transition took the entire first month to finally be aware of my surroundings, know where everything was on campus, and get used to hearing a fire engine siren constantly (every night to be exact). Once I adjusted to all these new aspects I have learned to absolutely love calling Mizzou my home. I love exploring downtown with my friends, seeing all the cultural events going on 24/7 across campus, and trying new things that I never thought I would have the opportunity to. Mizzou has helped me become the person I am today and enjoy my experience even more than I thought I would!