More than 210 students from across Illinois visited the Illinois State Capitol on Wednesday, April 18, for the annual Illinois Electric and Telephone Cooperatives Youth Day. The students and chaperones had an opportunity to see state government in action, visit with their legislators and question them on key issues. They were also invited into the office of Secretary of State Jesse White.
During lunch, Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti addressed the students and chaperones. Sanguinetti discussed her humble beginnings and being encouraged to not allow her background to limit her future. With her passion for volunteerism in local communities, she challenged students, “you never know where life may take you. Volunteer, make a difference. If not you, then who?”
Illinois State Fair Manager Luke Sailer, a former Illinois Youth Leadership Council representative, challenged the students to take an interest in the political process and stressed how important their voices and actions are. He encouraged them to “take a leap of faith and work hard and doors will open for you and your future.”
Faye Yang, the 2017-18 Illinois Youth Leadership Council Representative from Wayne-White Counties Electric Cooperative, spoke about her experiences on the Youth to Washington tour and challenged attendees to maintain an interest in their cooperatives and the political process. After lunch, the students also visited the Old State Capitol and Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum.
At the end of the day, the students were interviewed for the chance to participate in the Youth to Washington Tour, June 8-15, 2018.