Each year, the Three Rivers Electric Cooperative puts on an essay contest for the surrounding counties. Hundreds of essays are submitted, and then the top 12 essays are chosen; those students become finalists in the contest. From there, these 12 students must compete to make it into the top 6. The top 6 students win an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C.
Earlier this spring, all juniors enrolled in English class wrote an essay for the Three Rivers Electric Cooperative. The top essays from New Haven were submitted in January.
In February, Ms. Kelly, English teacher, got a phone call from Three Rivers Electric Cooperative, and she received information that Brady Kruse was a finalist in the essay contest--meaning that he was in the top 12.
The Essay Contest event in Linn was held on March 15th. Brady had big expectations to live up to, as his family has a long tradition of attending the Youth Leadership Tour.
Kyle Kruse, superintendent of the New Haven School District and father of Brady Kruse, was a top finalist in the same essay contest in 1987, when he was a junior in high school.
Dena Kruse, mother of Brady, was a top finalist in the essay contest in 1988 when she was a junior.
Hannah Kruse, sister of Brady, was a top finalist in the essay contest 2 years ago in 2014 when she was a junior.
Brady worked hard in writing his essay, and he also practiced reading the essay aloud frequently in the days leading up to the event. Brady was nervous, but he was prepared.
Mr. Kruse stated, "As a parent, I was both nervous and proud of Brady as he presented the essay. He had worked really hard and I wanted him to feel that he had done his best. I thought he did a great job, and I think the judges did, too."
Brady breathed a sigh of relief when they finally announced he was a top finalist. “I was incredibly nervous,” he says. “My name was announced last, so I had to sit through the other five finalists wondering if I was actually going to make it!”
Brady will attend the Youth Leadership Tour from June 10-16, along with roughly 100 other finalists from Missouri.
On his trip, Brady will have the opportunity to visit dozens of sites and memorials.
Mr. Kruse reflected on his favorite moment from his own trip: "On the Youth Tour, I had the opportunity to watch the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It was a solemn experience that I've always remembered."
Brady will undoubtedly have some memorable moments during his Youth Tour experience as well.
Congratulations, Brady; enjoy your well-deserved trip of a lifetime!