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News HS seniors visit DC

Published on October 7, 2016

Seniors take on Washington D.C. during the summer

Senior Joy Van Wyngarden

Senior Joy Van Wyngarden traveled to Washington D.C. with Pella Electric Cooperative on June 10 through 16. She talked to Iowa senators, Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley, about renewable energy while learning about American history, the political system, and how Washington D.C. operates.

“Cooperatives from all across America sent kids, “ said Van Wyngarden. “It was basically for us to see politics at work and getting to meet our representatives.”

To get the opportunity to go on this trip, Van Wyngarden had to a write a small paper, discussing about the importance of cooperatives. A cooperative is a company that is owned and ran by the customers of the business. To test her knowledge, she had to take a quiz about the Pella Electric Cooperative and write a paragraph about why she wanted to go. She read about the trip in a Co-ops newspaper and knew Cathryn Yoder, a Pella High alumni, who went on the trip during her junior year. Van Wyngarden also toured around D.C. She visited the monuments and the Smithsonian.

“Something that I really enjoyed about DC was the history that you feel when you’re walking around in the museums or the monuments,” said Van Wyngarden.

Seniors Chandler Jahner and Amanda Stanley

Seniors Chandler Jahner and Amanda Stanley went to the Washington Leadership Conference. FFA high school students from all over Iowa, Michigan, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Minnesota went to this conference. They created a FFA plan, “Living to Serve” and talked about ways to better serve and lead their communities, like driving people to fitness centers. Stanley has been working at a kennel for three years.  She serves others by helping take care of animals whose owners are on vacation.

They left June 20 and returned June 26. Jahner and Stanley had to go through an interview process in the winter of 2015 and were chosen by their interviewees. They were asked why they wanted to go on the trip, how they dealt with authority, and about basic FFA knowledge.

While there, Jahner and Stanley enjoyed a lot of sightseeing including, but not limited to, the Newseum, the Arlington Cemetery, the Iwo Jima Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial.

“I learned how to speak in public better and how to lead people better. I also learned how to be a more social person and talk to more people,” said Stanley. “The purpose of going to Washington was to better myself as a leader specifically for the FFA but also just as a whole. The skills I learned there will help me throughout my life.”