Future Minds Found(ed) in Truckee at Tahoe Expedition Academy—by Nick Cisik
A select group of students from Truckee’s own Tahoe Expedition Academy had the privilege recently to meet with a visiting youth council from Conwy, Wales. The goal of this summit was to share ideas surrounding our countrys’ political systems and to discuss the role of today’s youth in shaping the governments of tomorrow. The consensus was that the youth population of Wales is more familiarized with the inner workings of their government than the general youth population is with our government here in the United States. It was also decided that young people in the U.K. have developed such a strong governmental proficiency due to their direct involvement in it. Through this involvement, they have come to fully grasp the importance of their participation and the vitality of the individual vote as the most viable vehicle for change.
Another takeaway from the visit was how the Welsh government has harvested a far more inclusive political culture pertaining to youth participation. One example of this is their recent implementation of a National Youth Assembly. Members, ages ranging from 11-18, will be voted into office later this year and the assembly will have assured influence over the legislative decisions made by Welsh parliament. Wales has not gone as far as Scotland in lowering the voting age to 16, but considering the current political climate in Wales, this reformation seems eminent.
It might be fair to say then, that by cultivating the political voice of their country’s youth, that the Welsh leadership is, in a sense, assuring that, when older, these same young people will feel a responsibility for and ownership over how their country is shaped. They will not feel alienated from the political system through generational dissonance nor lack of familiarity. And because of this they will take pride in their involvement in a system that they feel connected to and, more importantly, empowered by.
It is encouraging to know that right here in Truckee, California, one school is shaping the minds of its youth by opening them up to the contrasting qualities of the world’s varying political systems. Tahoe Expedition Academy certainly seems to be on the pulse of what tomorrow will demand from their current student body. By providing them with a real-world-skillset early on in their education, TEA will undoubtedly graduate a line of alumni ready to take on the challenges sure to face them down the line. For as our international community continues to globalize, and the world’s population becomes ever more connected, it will be these open minds—rational, reasonable, and responsible—that will have the capacity to operate on the world’s stage, no matter how large or variant.
To hear more about the Conwy summit from TEA student Ava Morgan, go here and read about her experience.