The air here is full of history, pride, and politics, reminding me that I’m only a small part of the whole. Yet even as a teenager from Santa Cruz, my part is an important one. We are constantly reminded in interviews that we as young people are the driving force of the future. We are reminded to vote, get educated, and become involved in any way we can. I’m afraid and honored by the faith these powerful leaders place in us. They seem so sure that we’ll be able to take over their positions and move the country in the right direction.
Washington D.C. has a presence unlike anywhere I’ve been before. We walk by the White House and imagine President Obama in the Oval Office, discussing secrets the world has yet to know. We picnic on the grass as the Washington Monument looks down upon us. We even let ourselves feel a little superior in our business clothes as we watch other school groups in their matching neon shirts. Although Washington D.C. is a city divided by the parties, there’s a unity here founded on the knowledge that everyone is passionate about something, leaving me feeling hopeful about change.