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The Paw Print

News for Wildcats, by Wildcats.

The Paw Print

News for Wildcats, by Wildcats.

The Paw Print

Two West students to visit D.C. after a surprise award was presented

Rachel Tohme
After receiving the Youth to Washington award, Maxwell Nord (12) and Isabelle Phillips (11) stand together with their certificates. The two will travel together, along with several other NCWHS students, to Washington D.C. over the summer of 2024.

On Thursday, April 11, 2024, two Normal Community West High School students received a surprise award containing an opportunity of a lifetime. Isabelle Phillips (11) and Max Nord (12) received an all-expenses paid Youth to Washington trip, sponsored by Corn Belters Energy Student Leadership.

The award was a surprise for both students and counselors, as Rachel Tohme, NCWHS counselor, kept the information private until it was time to present.

“Counselors were very intrigued waiting for the announcement and were very surprised and happy for the winners. We are very proud to have both recipients of this award from West!” Tohme states.

To receive the award, Phillips and Nord had to undergo a several-step application process including an interview.

“First, we were given an application that first had questions on things to do with personal achievements, commitments, and activities. Then it asked a few questions on post-high school plans and why I wanted to go on the trip…They finally asked what a change you would want to see in your state is. The questions were relatively easy to answer, it just was a bit of typing (and we had like 4 days to do it due to when we got the applications),” Nord states.

The interview itself took place in Springfield, IL, and everyone was asked slightly different questions.

“From there, we had to wait I think around 2-3 weeks before we knew who was chosen,” Phillips states.

The trip itself takes place from June 14-21, 2024, to Washington D.C., and all meals, transportation, and housing are covered for the two recipients.

On the trip, Phillips and Nord will visit national sites, monuments, and museums.

“I’m looking forward to the monuments and museums we will get to see, history is one of my special interests and I love to both learn more and be able to see historical items in person,” Phillips states.

The trip will be an educational experience for everyone going.

Both Phillips and Nord are excited and looking forward to visiting D.C. along with several other West students.

If you missed out on the application process, but have interest in the trip for a future year, contact your counselor.

“Corn Belt Energy will be sponsoring these experiences every year. Let your counselor know if you’d like a chance to compete next year,” Tohme states.


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