Savage High School student Soda Rice doesn’t think she ever wants to be a politician, but she greatly appreciated the trip to the nation’s capital for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s Youth Tour earlier this month.
Rice, who is entering her junior year, was one of 27 students in Montana who was selected for the trip by their local cooperative after completing an essay. Rice was chosen by the Lower Yellowstone Rural Electric Cooperative.
She was encouraged to apply for the trip after seeing students Trey Bloesser and Owen Nelson, each of Savage, benefit from the experience.
“They had only good things to say about it,” Rice said. “I’m really glad that I did. It was an amazing trip.”
The experience included visiting with U.S. Sens. Steve Daines and Jon Tester of Montana. “There were a few kids that were really interested in politics. I enjoyed the questions and answers,” Rice said. “Both senators were very friendly.”
The students also visited a variety of museums and historical sites.
“The Holocaust museum was really something that touched me,” Rice said. “It seemed like every day we went to a museum, and I was like this is my favorite one so far.”
She added that being inside Capitol Hill was also memorable.
While in Washington, the students participated in National Youth Day where they learned about the importance and history of electric cooperatives. Rice said every state was represented by students except Maine and Rhode Island.
She noted a dance featured 1,800 students. “It was insane, but it was really fun.”
Despite her enjoyment of seeing the nation’s capital, Rice still feels she rather have a career in a medical field than politics. “It seems like a really stressful job,” Rice said of being a national legislator. “I don’t know if it’s the job for me.”