Posted on September 10, 2018

From June 2-6, Josie De Los Santos (Everest) and Ainsley Smith (Sabetha) toured Washington DC on the Foundation for Rural Service Youth Tour. This tour brought together over 100 students from across the country for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Highlights included tours of the Smithsonian Museums, Mount Vernon, Federal Communications Commission, and U.S. Capitol. 

Josie De Los Santos is the daughter of Cara Christian and the late Nile Santos and is a junior at Horton High School. Josie is involved in Student Council, the Dance Team, Advanced Choir, National Honor Society, KAY, FBLA, Horton CEO, FCA, Drama Club, and much more with a GPA of 3.85. She regularly volunteers in her home community of Everest and Horton where she paints, cleans, and helps with local community events. Josie is involved in her local church by teaching elementary Sunday school class. Josie enjoyed learning out the legislative process while visiting the Capitol. She participated in a “Rural Discussion” where all of the students proactively solved problems their community is facing. “I had no idea these students were facing some of the same challenges I was, especially those from other states far away! I really opened up my eyes on how important our communities are,” said Josie.

Ainsley Smith is the daughter of Rick and Shelley Smith and is a sophomore at Sabetha High School. Ainsley and is involved in Student Council, SADD, KAY’s, FCA, cheerleading, National Honor Society, band, and the school’s musical productions with a GPA of 4.0. Ainsley is involved in her local church by playing the piano and singing vocals during service, vacation bible school, and as a nursery worker. Ainsley has worked at the Sabetha Golf Club, Sabetha City Pool, and regularly works as a baby, house and dog sitter. Ainsley enjoyed touring the Smithonians as well as Mount Vernon. “Seeing the history of the buildsing was one of my favorite parts,” said Aisnley. “I also enjoyed visiting the FCC and asking Chairman Pai about rural issues. It really felt as if I had a voice!”

Josie and Ainsley were fortunate enough to hear Chairman Pai speak at the Federal Communications Commission.  

“I want to thank ӲƵAPP, the Foundation for Rural service, and the ӲƵAPP Board for making this a possibility”, said Ainsley. “This was a trip I’ll never forget and I learned so much”, said Josie.