The Nevada Youth Legislature held its annual training this month. We alternate these trainings between Carson City and Las Vegas, and this year was Las Vegas' turn. It was here that I observed a generosity of heart, spirit and pocketbook and I wanted to share that with you today.
The training very nearly didn't happen. Only days before, word broke of the Governor's negotiations with Tesla, and a Special Session was in the offing. Fortunately, the timing of the Special Session gave us a few days between our long-planned training in Las Vegas and the anticipated start date in Carson City, giving me the time I needed to execute this important event that had been months in the making!
Our biggest concern about possibly rescheduling the training extended beyond re-scheduling our guest speakers. So many people from the community had demonstrated a Generosity of Heart by agreeing to participate in the day's training. Justice Michael Cherry of the Nevada Supreme Court had graciously agreed to swear in our Youth Legislators. Constance Brooks, Russell Rowe, and Nick Vassiliadis served on a panel discussion about the role of lobbyists in the legislative process. Several former Youth Legislators agreed to participate in working groups to help our Youth Legislators refine their BDR ideas.
No, our biggest concern may have been just ensuring that all 21 of our Youth Legislators may be available some day in the future! These are 21 active, engaged high schoolers with multiple extracurricular activities. We had given them this date months in advance and had asked them to schedule themselves around this training. Cheer practices, football games, and community organizations had to go on hold for the day so the important training and team-building could occur. No... we needed to move forward with the training as planned.
It was the Youth Legislators themselves who demonstrated a Generosity of Spirit by being engaged throughout the day. If you need inspiration on the future of humanity, take a look at the video. It's terrific. 21 Youth Legislators, representing (literally) every corner of our state, all asking good questions, preparing vigilantly for their future roles proposing legislation to the Nevada Senate and Nevada Assembly. Pretty heady stuff.
It was Senator Valerie Wiener, founder of the Nevada Youth Legislature and Chair of the Nevada Youth Legislature Foundation Board of Directors, who demonstrated a Generosity of Pocketbook as the day's events concluded. She announced, with no fanfare, that she was in the process of closing out her campaign account from her political career, and that she had written a check for $15,000 to the Nevada Youth Legislature. There was no press release, no trailing television cameras... and, as Executive Director, I had absolutely no advance notice. All I could do was to sputter out a few words of appreciation and send off a dumbfounded tweet. Senator Wiener has been our guiding light as the Nevada Senate has undertaken the wonderful role of coordinating this program, and it is the purity of her generosity that I find so exhilarating. She isn't supporting this program for professional or political gain. For Senator Wiener, this is personal: a personal commitment to a program that will become her legacy.
Generosity of Heart. Generosity of Spirit. Generosity of Pocketbook. Is it any wonder that I find this program so inspirational?