A disappointed delegate

U.S. Senate Youth Program canceled due to COVID-19

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Photo by Submitted photo

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Story by Jenna Williamson, advertising editor

The United States Senate Youth program is a time when two delegates from each state have the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. for an event named Washington Week.  Throughout seven days, delegates have the chance to listen to government officials, military officers and many more speak about their role in running this country. Along with the keynote speakers, the participants also tour all of the monuments in D.C.: the Capitol, the White House, and many more.  

To say I was excited to have been chosen as one of the two delegates from Texas would be a major understatement. The prestigious trip is also accompanied with a $10,000 scholarship, making it that much more worthwhile. I had felt like my hard work in Student Council had finally paid off. I was preparing, connecting with other delegates, and packing to leave when we all received the devastating email. 

On March 5, all delegates and parents were crushed with an email stating that the entire Washington Week was canceled because of COVID-19 concerns. We were all set to arrive on March 7, so it was right at the point where COVID-19 was beginning to grow and show it was much more dangerous than we all thought. 

However, at the time, nothing else had been canceled. I couldn’t get past the fact that I wouldn’t have the chance to listen to government officials (and the president) speak and mentor. To me, it seemed as though this prestigious honor was canceled rather quickly and easily. 

It took until now, with the whole country on lockdown, for me to see the situation clearly. The devastation is still fresh, because it’s not everyday you miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Nevertheless, the cancellation does not diminish how high of an honor it was to be chosen, and now, all 2020 delegates will have quite a different story to tell about their Washington Week experience.