For the second year in a row, two Crandall High School students received top marks to win a trip to Austin and Washington, D.C. as part of the Government-in-Action Youth Tour from Trinity Valley Electric Cooperative.
CHS junior Darlene Gonzalez and senior Aman Hogan-Bailey will participate in a long tradition of electric co-op youth converging on the U.S. Capital for the educational tour, a program inspired in 1957 by then-U.S. Sen. Lyndon Johnson who expressed a desire for young people to “actually see what the flag stands for and represents.”
Texas students begin the Youth Tour in Austin, with a tour of the state capitol and other landmarks. Joining with about 160 other co-op representatives, the students then head to Washington for a week of discovery among the capital’s historic sites, museums and government institutions.
“They call this the trip of a lifetime and that is absolutely accurate,” said Bobbi Byford, TVEC’s director of corporate relations, who has acted as chaperone on the trip on seven occasions. “It is always fun to see how these students are transformed by the experience of visiting Washington, D.C. and getting what may be their first taste of what opportunities they may have after school is over.”
Both students noted that they had not previously been to Washington, with a common interest in touring the museums of the Smithsonian Institution.
“As a student whose passion is steeped in the natural sciences, the most intriguing site would have to be the Smithsonian,” Hogan-Bailey said. “In terms of sheer quality, the vast amount of history Washington harbors is uncontested, so I consider all sites in D.C. to be valuable reservoirs of knowledge.”
In total, more than 1,800 students from across the nation participate in the Youth Tour each year. Along with some typical sightseeing and tourism, teens have an opportunity to meet legislators and participate in a wreath ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.