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A Letter From Youth Tour

When I learned that I had received a spot on the 2017 Government-In-Action Youth Tour, I was frantically getting ready to begin a debate meet. I was quite frustrated when a call interrupted my preparations, and the last thing I wanted to do was pick up the phone. Instead, I waited for it to go to voicemail, listened to the message that had been left for me, and called back when I was ready. Little did I know that a single phone call would change my life forever.

From the moment I began learning about Youth Tour, I was told that it would be the trip of a lifetime. I, like many of my fellow delegates, dismissed this information. I knew it would be an amazing trip, but I never anticipated just how pivotal it would be in shaping me as a person and helping me decide my future. That all changed when I arrived in Austin and began meeting others; it was then that I realized just how important Youth Tour was going to be to me.

I met people from all over Texas, from Amarillo to Brownsville and El Paso to Beaumont, and learned so much about the different regions of our state. Some other students and I even began asking the people from North Texas, “Do you call breakfast tacos, tacos, or burritos?” after learning that tacos weren’t common all over the state, and sparked a very heated debate that spread like wildfire through the delegates and lasted for the entire trip.

Every delegate protected their small town with as much strength as they could, making it a contest to see whose town was truly the smallest. While the rivalries ran deep between the towns each person represented, we all recognized the Texas attitude within each other. We soon became a huge, “Deep in The Heart of Texas” singing family that fit every Texas stereotype in the book, even earning compliments for our friendliness and manners from the other states participating.

Aside from meeting so many amazing people, seeing the monuments and museums in Austin and Washington D.C. made a lasting impression on me. Having the opportunity to learn about those who fought for our freedom outside of a history classroom gave me a new understanding of the events that took place and the sacrifices that were made to get us where we are today.

The most unforgettable part of my trip, however, was the day I spent on Capitol Hill. As an aspiring politician, meeting with Congressman Filemon Vela in his office and discussing issues that plague the South Texas community was simply overwhelming. His passion for his constituents filled the room, and after spending an hour speaking with him and his staff members, I came to the realization that I want to make the same impacts Congressman Vela has. It helped me understand that politics and government are my calling.

I would like to thank each and every single member of San Patricio Electric Cooperative for sending me on this year’s Youth Tour. It was the best trip of my life. One where I made lifelong friends, had many unforgettable experiences, and realized what I really valued and wanted for my future. Without your support, I would not have been able to go on such an incredible trip with such wonderful people.

Because of your patronage, I will go down in Youth Tour history as one of thousands of Texas delegates, and the tradition will continue to bless students from our area for generations to come.

Sincerely,

Stephanie Munson

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