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High Desert Grange Visits Legislature

High Desert Grange YLP with Assemblywoman Robin Titus, l to r age in () top row: Taylor Reynolds (16), Richard Gomez (14), Raimie Freeman (12),
Assemblywoman Titus (timeless) Bottom row: Christian Soto (10), Lukas Freeman (7) photo courtesy HDGrange

by Rachel Dahl —

Social media definitely has its benefits, as a group of young Fallonites recently learned.

Apparently, Assemblywoman Robin Titus (R-38, Wellington) follows the Facebook page of the High Desert Grange and saw posts of the January – February 2019 Youth Leadership Program class.  She extended an invitation to the class to sit with her on the floor of the Assembly during a session, and then to meet with her afterward.

Unfortunately, the session was cancelled, but she invited everyone, including parents, to meet with her in her office.  The group totaled 11 people.  Instead of the planned 15-minute question/answer period that was scheduled after the session, the group was able to spend 40 minutes getting to know the Assemblywoman and learning about her job representing them in the legislature.

“Each student asked at least one question which gave the Assemblywoman an opportunity to know our students and their concerns,” said Suzann Peterson, the program coordinator for the youth leadership group. “On our way to the Assemblywoman’s office we were also invited to meet Senator Settelmeyer and ask him questions,” said Gilliland.

Additionally, the attaché for Titus, Laurel Wilson, set up a private tour of the Assembly Chambers for the students, which was led by Assistant Sergeant at Arms, Bob Guernsey.

According to Richard Gomez, one of the youth leadership students, going onto the floor of the Assembly was the best part of the trip. “Seeing how it’s all set up,” he said, “and how the people all collaborate, and then when they’re voting they push the buttons on the left side and the display on the screen shows green or red.” Gomez said that process was very exciting.

The Youth Leadership Program is a Toastmasters International 8-week course that teaches youth communication and leadership skills to meet the challenges of the future.  Fallon’s Youth Leadership Program is sponsored by Oasis Toastmasters and co-sponsored by The High Desert Grange.

YLP with Senator Settelmeyer l to r, top row – Taylor Reynolds, Senator James Settelmeyer, Raimie Freeman, Richard Gomez, Suzann Peterson (Youth Leadership Program Coordinator), bottom row: Christian Soto, Lukas Freeman photo courtesy HDGrange

Gomez said that the program is really fun and especially enjoys the table topics – students are given random items and have to make a full speech on the spot. He is 14 years old and in middle school.

Taylor Reynolds, who is 16 years old and homeschooled, also attended the legislative trip and thought meeting Assemblywoman Titus was the highlight of the trip. “She was a genuine person and talked to us about what got her into politics and her upbringing,” he said.

This is Reynold’s third year in the youth leadership program, and he said if the right opportunity ever presented itself, he may one day be interested in running for office. He is interested in the legislation surrounding the raw milk sales issue and was able to discuss that with the assemblywoman.

While visiting with the assemblywoman, the group presented her with an Honorary Membership to The High Desert Grange.  They also presented Wilson with a gift basket full of products from Telegraph Coffee & Tap and Lattin Farms.

“Because this is a Youth Leadership Program,” said Peterson, “ we asked Assemblywoman Titus how important communication and leadership skills are in her position.” The assemblywoman emphasized how critical these skills are in developing and expressing an idea clearly and encouraging support for that idea.  She also stressed how important it is to listen to the thoughts and ideas of others so workable solutions can be reached.


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