Victims' Rights Caucus


On Saturday, May 15, more than 100 people attended the 1st Annual Youth Conference hosted by U.S. Rep. Ted Poe at the Dayton Community Center.

Many Dayton High School students and their parents were in attendance, in addition to several from Atascocita and Kingwood ISDs.

The premise of the Youth Conference was to foster the importance of education and encourage young people and their parents that you can do anything as Poe invited a former Astronaut, U.S. Army Colonel, and former NBA basketball player to speak about their life experiences.

Also addressing those in attendance were two high school seniors who are nominated for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. Additionally, a guest speaker who is amid service as West Point talked about the importance of education and setting goals.

Poe began the conference with a short introduction and then invited Warren Geary, a Atascocita High School senior and U.S. Military Academy nominee to share his message.

Geary thanked Poe for providing his nomination and stated, Our goals are something that define who we are as people.

After a brief pause, he then stated, My goal in life is be able to achieve something great. I want to be able to serve my country in the best way possible however and whenever they need me. This goal has helped changed my life.

Geary ended his message on the importance of setting goals and how our goals are a commitment to ourselves.

Nicholas Moilanen, a graduating senior from Kingwood High School and soon to be attending the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, was next to speak.

In addition to getting good grades in school, he spoke of his beneficial experiences earning his Eagle Scout rank and how he also applied himself to learn Mandarin Chinese.

He explained that these experiences and skills enabled him to get accepted into the U.S. Naval Academy and he concluded his messaged by stating, If you enjoy something, you should pursue it yourself. You never know until you try.

Aaron Trobee, the following speaker, graduated from Kingwood High School in 2008 and was nominated by Poe and later was accepted into West Point. He will be graduating from West Point in 2011.

Of his experiences, he stated, Poes nomination has given me the opportunity to experience so many things that I would have never had the opportunity to experience.

Trobee then described West Point and how its main goal is to produce well-rounded leaders that are adaptable and can react positively to their surroundings.

He stated in conclusion, West Point has taught me that if you want something bad enough, theres nothing that anyone can do to stop you from doing it.

Before the next speaker was introduced, Poe gave an interlude message on how, based on the first three speakers, the United States continues to have the best military in the world. Poe stated, We love the military in Southeast Texas and we appreciate your service.

He then addressed all the young people in the audience and encouraged them to serve in the military and offered assistance to help them through that process of joining and serving.

Poe then introduced former astronaut Richard Hieb who described how he grow up in a little town in North Dakota called Jamestown. Hieb stated, I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to do something that really mattered.

Hieb continued, In America, you can choose to make a difference with your life. I dont know what that is going to lead to be an astronaut? A doctor? A teacher? A lawyer? Whatever it is, you can choose to make a difference. You can really choose to become anything you want to be.

He then described his early high school days and how he chose to do things he really enjoyed pursuing, like math and physics.