Ernst meets SHS students in D.C.

Source: KMA Land

By Mike Peterson

(Washington) -- Another group of Shenandoah High School students are touring the East Coast.

On Monday, a group of SHS juniors and seniors plus five chaperones left for a swing through Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York City. As part of Wednesday's itinerary, the students were scheduled to meet Iowa Senator Joni Ernst on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. In a conference call with reporters prior to meeting the Shenandoah contingent, Ernst said her message to students is inspirational.

"The message that I love to share with our Iowa students," said Ernst, "is that there is so much potential among these young men and women for advancing, whether it's in civilian careers, military careers, or if they decide to get into policy, and become an elected official some day."

Ernst, a native of Stanton, cites her case as an example.

"I'm a prime example of that," she said, "coming from a small rural community where, really, anything is possible. If they work hard enough, if they strive towards their goals, they can meet those objectives. They have to dig deep, and just work hard at it. But, anybody can achieve those things."

The Red Oak Republican also says it's important for students to visit the nation's capital, and learn more about government.

"These trips that they take every two years as a student body," said Ernst, "it's important that they see first hand how their government is working. I think by visualizing it, putting your eyes and your hands on it, you understand it so much better."

Some observers says today's young people aren't interested in government or politics. On the contrary, Ernst says she's pleased with the increased involvement of all residents--including the country's youth--in this year's presidential elections.

"I am so glad to see so many American people engaging in this year's election cycle," she said. "You see people who haven't participated before, they're getting excited and going out to the polls, and they are casting their ballots. So, we see a lot of those young folks doing that, too. If they'll be 18 by the time the general election is held, they were able to participate in the caucuses. Many of them will be able to vote in their first election this fall."

Shenandoah High's students also met with Iowa Congressman David Young and Senator Charles Grassley Wednesday afternoon. From Washington, the students planned to visit Philadelphia and New York City before arriving back in Shenandoah Saturday.