Local high school students Savana Gutierrez and Lillian MacKinney joined over a thousand high school students from other electric co-ops around the country to spend the week in Washington, D.C. for the annual Youth Tour trip. Every year PVREA sponsors students to attend this once-in-a-lifetime trip. Applications for next year’s trip will be available later this year at www.pvrea.coop.
Q&A With the Students:
What did you think about your trip in Washington D.C.?
Lillian: My experience in beautiful Washington D.C. was indescribable. I am so grateful to have even had the opportunity to apply, let alone be able to go on the trip. Exposing students to the location of where governing happens really opened my eyes as well as the other students’ eyes to a world that can seem unfamiliar and even scary. This trip completely changed my career pursuit from not knowing what I wanted to do with my life to getting involved in government and politics.
Savana: This trip opened my eyes and mind to new knowledge. I know more about my country’s history and now my electric cooperative. I loved learning and experiencing these things with new faces I had never seen before. That gave me the opportunity to create new friendships that I know will last for a while! Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to represent Poudre Valley REA in Washington D.C. this year!
What was your favorite part of the trip and why?
Lillian: The best part of the Washington D.C. Youth Tour was meeting the other students from rural locations in Colorado as well as other states. For me, this was my favorite part because it was an experience that I will never get anywhere else. Everyone lives entirely different lives, yet we were all able to unite and learn about each other and really understand the beliefs of others and make connections with people we never would have been able to make otherwise.
Savana: My favorite part of the trip would probably be being able to talk to the senators and representatives. I loved doing that because we were able to hear different opinions, views, and thoughts about many different topics. Another thing I loved about the trip was meeting a bunch of new people that I am now really close friends with!
What is something you learned that you didn’t know before?
Lillian: The trip really opened my eyes to the world of electric cooperatives. It’s so easy to turn on a light and think nothing of it, but the process behind it is shocking. There’s so many people involved in electric cooperatives that do so much for states like Colorado, especially in rural locations.
Savana: Something I learned would be the history behind many different monuments and buildings that we went to. The different stories and pieces of history was better to hear in person than to hear in a history class back at home.