Inspire WV Visits the Legislature

I had the pleasure of attending another Day at the Legislature with Inspire WV, second to my experience as one of the seventeen speakers of the first annual Girls' Day at the Legislature. It's always a privilege to have the opportunity to share ideas and topics with people who have my same interests at heart.

West Virginia students are the best and brightest in the nation, and it is a privilege to be among the young men and women who attend these events to assure that their voices are being heard. Civic engagement is not necessarily considered 'cool' in the flow of trends; yet, it is one of the things I stress most about. I feel so obliged to live in a state that has representatives that genuinely care about what we think needs to be done. Our representatives hear us out, and they assure us that they are there to do what we want them to do. I have never seen a state that has such involved representatives and students. West Virginia is simply such a special state, with such special people, and it is only right if young men and women like me take charge to assure that we have a better West Virginia. There is so much potential within the crevices of our thoughts, that, all we have to do is think them aloud.

Day at the Legislature was an opportunity for me to speak to one of my representatives of the small border county of Monroe. Senator Ron Miller was an absolute joy to speak to, sharing many of my concerns about my state, and assuring that people are moving towards giving me answers to my questions, and solving the problems I believe we have. It's so important for citizens to feel acknowledged when they feel something must be addressed. In my small county, we do not have large corporations diversifying our economy, we don't have bustling cities, and we rarely have any disturbances. Yet, we have so many special, intelligent, and dedicated people; it is truly an honor to be from Monroe County. Although we are a quaint county, we do face our issues of job retention, economic diversity, and environmental preservation issues. I was able to comfortably and confidently address all of these issues with Senator Miller, and other representatives that I had the privilege of speaking to, including Bill Laird and John O'Neal.

West Virginia's civic engagement is on a steady rise thanks to the help of motivated, and civically involved young men and women. With my personal discretion, I can tell you I have two friends running for a position in West Virginia's government, and they have yet to graduate high school. It is such a privilege to be able to witness these things, and to be a part of the movement towards keeping West Virginia almost heaven. I encourage any and all to attend days like this at the capital. Get involved within your communities; rise to the state level; reach out to the federal level representatives. West Virginia needs your help to keep it almost heaven.

[Post written by Antonella Blanco, 2015-16 Inspired Leader from James Monroe High School]

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