Teen-2-Teen October 2017
Youth Tour helps student aspire
by Eva Reich
“I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations at the moment, I still have a dream.” Martin Luther King Jr. said those words on Aug. 28, 1963, standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial looking across the reflecting pool as if looking toward the future. As I stood in that exact same spot looking across the reflecting pool toward the Washington Monument, I couldn’t help but to reflect and think of my own dreams, and the dreams of the other 1,900 students on the 2017 Electric Cooperative Youth Tour to Washington, D.C.
All of us high school juniors and seniors stand on the cusp of our dreams with our electric cooperatives standing right behind us, supporting us. We were all given this amazing opportunity to travel to our nation’s capital for a trip of a lifetime.
Washington, D.C., is not only the political center and capital of our great nation, but it is also a national treasure that depicts and encompasses so much of our nation’s history. I believe it is imperative for every American to visit in their lifetime. And with the sponsorship of our electric cooperatives, we were able to do just that.
While on the Youth Tour, I was selected to be the Youth Leadership Council (YLC) representative for North Dakota. This great honor allowed me to take another trip back to Washington, D.C., where 43 young leaders from other states and I came together to build our leadership skills.
But we also built a family. I will always cherish the friendships and connections I have made through Youth Tour and YLC.
I wasn’t expecting the Youth Tour and YLC to have the colossal impact on me that it inevitably did. It strengthened my confidence as a leader and taught me how to work with other people to form a cohesive team.
The Youth Tour not only inspired me to dream, but to make my dreams a reality. I will be forever grateful for the life lessons and experience of Youth Tour and YLC. And I know that in spite of the difficulties I may face in my future, I will never stop reaching for my dreams.
Eva Reich, 17, is a senior home-schooled student who plays basketball and volleyball. She enjoys playing instruments (violin, viola, piano and ukulele), dancing, singing, acting and spending time with friends and family. She is the daughter of the late Alvin Reich and Rebecca Reich. Her family is served by Dakota Valley Electric Cooperative.