Aaron Stacy Class of 2020
Ste. Genevieve High School in Ste. Genevieve, MO
1. Tell us where you went, the program you were part of, where you stayed and how it all was?
The program I went with was the NSLC(National Student Leadership Conference). I traveled to the nations capital Washington D.C. I stayed on an actual college campus which was named American University. I very much enjoyed my overall experience.
2. Favorite parts?
Favorite part was getting to meet the new people and learning their perspectives on things. Also being part of the Republican National Committee. It was a really fun time. Also, actually having a sitting Senator take the time to speak with us was really amazing.
3. Was it what you expected?
This program was actually more than what I expected. At first I thought it was just something you just learn about stuff by someone telling you this and that, but you actually get to be part of Senate Committees and even have the chance to run for President.
4. Hardest parts?
The hardest part was saying goodbye to the friends I made there and realizing that I would probably never see them again, that was really hard. Also my phone stopped working on the 2nd day there and that had my schedule for the program and everything on it, so it was really hard to know where I was going but I had friends to help me out.
5. Considering all the work you had to do, are you happy with your choice of program? Was it all worth it and would you do it all again?
I was very happy with the program we chose. I enjoyed all of my time there and I would definitely recommend this program to anybody. Not just even if you are into politics. They had many other programs their such as nursing, national security, etc.
6. What did you learn from the Patched Overalls process?
What I learned from the Patched Overalls experience was that no matter what dream you have, it doesn't matter go after it, you never know when you have the opportunity. With Patched Overalls you have an opportunity so don't pass it up. You never know when you get another chance if you ever do.
7. What are some things you learned about yourself, Washington D.C. and what it is like working in our government?
I very much enjoyed the feeling of working in the government. If you don't like work its not something someone should consider than haha. What I learned about myself was I don't mind getting out and meeting new people. I've always been a shy person and not good at public speaking but now I can be very outgoing. My message to other people would be that even if someone doesn't share the same ideas as you don't let it get in the way of getting to know that person. That is something I had to learn while I was there.
8. Did this experience make you want to learn more our government? Did it motivate you to do more or maybe shift to something else?
I learned a ton about the government. We didn't just sit their and have someone lecturing us we actually got to be part of committees which was really awesome. Politics is something that I would definitely consider.
9. Was your planning from the proposal helpful and was it close to the actual reality of it all?
The planning was very helpful because without the planning I don't think that I would have had any idea what I was about to face.
10. Would you recommend Patched Overalls for future students? Why or why not?
I would definitely recommend Patched Overalls to every student. It doesn't matter what you want to do Patched Overalls can make it happen. I never thought ever that I would have the opportunity to do something like this and now I've done it because of Patched Overalls. We need more programs like this one.
11. Any advice for students interested in Patched Overalls? American University? Washington D.C.? Government? Etc?
Advice for students about Patched Overalls would be that they shouldn't miss this opportunity. They won't get another one like it.
12. Any suggestions of how Patched Overalls can better serve the students and/or engage more students?
Patched Overalls does an amazing job with everything. I don't believe anything should be changed. Keep doing what your doing. Hopefully one day we can take every student where they wanna go.
From the parents:
1. How was this process for you as parents?
The process was easy and it was actually fun to watch Aaron develop the initial presentation to help secure the scholarship; prepare for the conference, and hear him talk about his experiences upon his return. Aaron was able to interact with a diverse group of his peers with varying opinions and positions so he got a firsthand look/feel for negotiation and developing cohesive arguments on a variety of issues.
2. What sort of help/advice did you have to give your student, or just offer in general, while going through the process?
Basically we just offered general advice on researching for and preparing the initial presentation.
3. What parts of Patched Overalls did y'all like? Dislike? What sort of benefits did y'all see in allowing your student to go through our process?
Thanks to Patched Overalls Aaron was provided with the opportunity to grow as a leader and public speaker by attending the conference. The only thing area I think may need some improvement is marketing/socializing the Patched Overalls program. I only say this because I did not know about the program until I found out Aaron was putting a presentation together so I am not sure if the school needs to do more to help sell it or the attendees and their parents could do more publicly to help market the program. This could help you raise funds to increase the scholarship for an individual or maybe even start awarding two scholarships. Anyway, I feel the concept of providing a scholarship for a life/education enhancing experience without tying it to college attendance is an outstanding and progressive idea!
4. What changes did you see in your child while going through the process if any? What did they learn? Did they learn anything about themselves and/or planning an adventure?
Aaron definitely learned how to put a plan and budget together during the initial portion of the process. Aaron also learned a great deal about how Government works and the challenges of developing bills/laws and negotiating to get them through our political process. Aaron specifically said he has developed greater comfort with public speaking because of the amount of time the attendees spent speaking in front of small to large groups of people.
5. What was the most exciting things to see?
Aaron developing confidence with public speaking; understanding how to face adversity, and leading from the front.
6. What was the hardest parts of this whole process?
Honestly, I did not find anything hard about it at all.
7. What advice would you give other parents who are considering letting their child go through the process.
100% concur with them letting their child go through the process. Even if they are not awarded the scholarship there is a lot that can be learned from researching to put the proposal together. Example: Had it not been for Aaron's research during this process, we would have never known the National Student Leadership Conference (NSLC) and the programs they offer existed. Once we found this out our plan was to send Aaron to the program he went through no matter if he was awarded the Patched Overalls scholarship or not because he was excited about the program and it fit within the scope of his future aspirations (politics/leadership). Thanks to Patched Overalls the overall financial expense was easier to handle and well worth the investment.
8. Would you do it all again?
9. Any suggestions for us at Patched Overalls to better serve the students and their parents?
Just marketing. Truly believe parents just do not know this is out there but I am only basing this on what I know and may not be aware of your entire marketing strategy. If there is anything we can do in the future to help socialize this opportunity please let us know.