Student gets early foothold in politics
Eric Tonini, a junior at Manvel High School, has been named to the Congressional Youth Advisory Council, a group started by U.S. Rep. Pete Olson, R-Sugar Land, as a way to make young voices heard in the political process.
Tonini first heard about the council through a family friend who works for Olson, and he applied. In August, he was accepted and inducted as a member, one of only 20 students chosen.
“As a part of the council, we need to stay up to date on the affairs of the nation and the world,” Tonini said. “(Congressman Olson) wants to hear what our input is.”
He says he has not had a lifelong interest in politics, that it developed mostly due to his mother’s own campaign for a spot on the school board, a process that opened his eyes to the possibilities of the political world.
“After that campaign, I applied for Pete Olson’s committee, and I worked on a congressional campaign,” Tonini said. “That’s when I first got really interested in politics. I’m still young, so of course there are other possible career options, but politics does seem like a really good option, and it’s something I’m looking into.”
Although Tonini has only been a part of the program for a few months, he believes it already has had a tangible impact on his political knowledge and outlook. Overall, he views it as an extremely positive experience.
“One of my favorite things is the fact that we need to be on top of world affairs,” Tonini said. “By being required to do that, it’s caused me to be more involved personally, and because I’ve been more involved, I’ve been more into it and I’ve been reading more articles.”
Students inducted into the council remain members until the following August, and if they again go through the application process, it is possible for them to remain part of the group until their high school graduation.
Outside of the political realm, Tonini also stays active in a number of other groups and organizations. He is a member of the school debate team and HOSA, a group for future health professionals. On top of all that, he is a member of the baseball team and an Eagle Scout.
After he graduates from high school, Tonini hopes to attend Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif.
ABOUT ERIC TONINI
COMMUNITY CONNECTION: Junior at Manvel High School
FAST FACT: Enrolled in four AP classes in addition to his extracurricular activities.
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