On Saturday, Dec. 10, I had the opportunity to attend an event held by my US Rep. Charles Taylor (R-Brevard, N.C.).

As part of a Student Council activity with my school, I was invited to help at Taylor’s annual dinner party. At the dinner party, I introduced myself to Taylor and Sen. George Allen (V.A.). Allen is the former governor of Virginia, and it is rumored that he is a prospective presidential candidate for the 2008 election.

At the party, many local dignitaries and politicians attended. Although I did not have the chance to discuss youth rights with any politician, I was able to network.

At my dinner table, there were two meterologists working for a federal climatic data center in Asheville, N.C. I was able to have an interesting and intelligent conversation with both of them about youth rights. They were polite and seemed sincerely interested in what I had to say, whether they truly were or not.

As politicians and other officials begin to hold these types of dinners to fundraise for the coming election year, I urge everyone to attend these events. Attending these events will allow you to network with “important” people. When you talk with them, if you get the chance, be sure to bring up youth rights.

Before you attend, I recommend that you read up on the talking points on the main website. You might also want to dress professionally and have business cards on hand.