Tour Fosters Independence and Commitment to Community
Macie Thompson | Wood County EC, 2006
By Travis Hill | June 1, 2018
Macie Thompson has always been a go-getter. As a high school and college student, she competed on athletic and academic teams and benefited from all the opportunities Wood County Electric Cooperative offered to young people, from scholarships and leadership camps to summer internships.
Yet she says it was her trip to Washington on the 2006 Youth Tour that allowed her to truly do something independently.
“Youth Tour was the first thing I really stepped out and did on my own,” says Thompson, now assistant principal at Lindale High School. “I didn’t have a friend going with me or applying with me. I think I was a little bit nervous to do it, but once I got accepted and was down to go, there was no turning back.”
She fondly remembers visiting the Lincoln Memorial with her peers and gazing across the National Mall. But the most memorable episode of the trip for Thompson was getting to meet her congressman, U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling—an experience, she says, that made our representative democracy come to life.
“After Youth Tour, I went on to decide that I wanted to study political science and history and communications,” she says. And at Texas A&M University, that’s what she did. After graduating in 2011 and briefly working for the communications departments at Wood County EC and a bank, she became a government and economics teacher at Weatherford High School.
As a teacher, Thompson drew on stories from Youth Tour to impart lessons to her students. Today, as a high school administrator, her memories of that trip to the nation’s capital continue to fuel her commitment to young people in her community.
“I am very passionate about making sure that rural students, people in these rural communities, have the same opportunities as students from elsewhere,” she says. “And I think that Youth Tour helped me. As a rural student myself and someone from a small community, it helped me see that there was more to the world, and it was just one other experience that tapped into my ambition and my potential.”