Adam Schrader, from Columbia Falls High School, reflects on his experience during the 2021 Washington D.C Youth Tour.
Adam Schrader — Columbia Falls High School — 2021 Youth Tour
Adam Schrader almost missed out on Youth Tour. His mom follows the Co-op on Facebook and saw a post about the trip. She strongly encouraged him to apply, but he replied, “No way. No one ever wins trips like this — definitely not me!” Laughing, Adam admitted that his mom was right. “Youth Tour was an incredible experience. There is so much energy in D.C.”
Adam expressed that the best part of the trip was getting to know the other Montana high school students. “After hanging out with them, I don’t necessarily consider myself as rural as I did before. The ranching kids from the east side changed my mind about that. One of them asked me how many acres my family had, and I was like, uh, five? You can imagine what they thought about that!”
The Montanans also got to know other students, including a large group from Texas. Together, they visited the White House, Capital, Monuments, and Smithsonian. Adam’s favorite was the Washington Monument, but he had the most fun at the baseball stadium. “We went to an Orioles v. Nationals game – I’d never been to a pro sporting event before, it was awesome!”
Finally, the Montana Youth Tour winners met Senator Daines, Senator Tester, and Representative Rosendale. Adam is considering applying to the Naval Academy and was grateful for the meeting. “Having these connections will make applying to the Academy a lot easier,” he noted. “Before Youth Tour, I felt like working in D.C. was out of my reach, but I don’t feel that way now. I saw so much wealth and privilege while I was there, and it made me want to go there and change that. So, yeah, Youth Tour changed my life! Maybe one day I’ll be one of the people in D.C. getting things done. Or maybe I’ll be a lineman here in Montana. I like how you get your training and then you start working for the Co-op and making a difference. I know that’s a good job.”
– Adam Schrader