A Passion for Politics

As many students spent their summer basking in the blistering Kansas sun, Sonora Sheldon, senior, voyaged 1,286 miles away from home. As an accepted participant of the National Youth Education Summit (Y.E.S.) sponsored by the friends of NRA (National Rifle Association), Sheldon was awarded an all expenses paid ticket to Washington D.C.

Inspired by her passion for political matters, Sheldon began the application process for the Y.E.S program in February of 2015. The Y.E.S. program admits individuals who exhibit key leadership and scholarly skills needed to defend and appreciate one’s Constitutional rights. Upon receiving her prestigious acceptance call, Sheldon spent dozens of hours studying debate topics such as: second amendment issues, climate change, and foreign affairs.

“One day I literally sat in my room the entire day, watching FOX News videos. In the end, I filled half of a spiral notebook with notes and comments,” Sheldon said.

On July 27th, Sheldon packed her bags and flew to Washington D.C. along with 45 other participants from 38 states; thus beginning a weeklong journey around our nation’s capitol. Whilst in the capitol, participants partook in government related events, such as civic debates and visiting historical landmarks.

“I loved the seminars over foreign affairs and second amendment issues…we weren’t assigned to debate certain sides so I got to voice my own opinion, which I really loved,” Sheldon said.

Although much of the summit was spent learning about historical and government issues, participants were able to enjoy various, lively activities.

“One day we got to go to Quantico Marine Base and partake in different simulations Marines practice while training. Each simulation was very realistic—so it was like being in a real-life video game,” Sheldon said.

As a part of the summit, Sheldon has the opportunity to win a grand scholarship worth $15,000. In order for her to be eligible for the award, Sheldon must present a widespread array of multimedia tasks that introduce the ideals of the NRA to her community, thank the Friends of NRA, and raise awareness for second amendment rights.

As the week drew to a close, Sheldon left the summit taking with her life-long lessons and friendships.

“My favorite part of the trip wasn’t site seeing and debating, but it was getting to know 45 other kids from different states that shared so much in common with me. Any person that I met on the trip is equipped with the intelligence to find the cure for cancer or become the President of the United States—they were all so vastly bright, it was refreshing,” Sheldon said.