Congress 2023

December 19, 2023
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TeenPact’s Congress event is designed for students to experience life as a United States Senator, Representative, Lobbyist, or Reporter.

Throughout the week of Congress, teens step into the shoes of influential roles, immersing themselves in a transformative Mock Legislature environment aimed at empowering them to shape policies and culture through a Christ-centered worldview. Parents and students alike passionately recount the profound, life-altering impact this experience has had on their lives.

Rebekah Esch, a parent chaperone, reports, “We are investing in the Kingdom and the impact that these experiences have on our kids. These students get an experience at TeenPact like no other. Building leadership skills, making an impact on their community and government at a young age, as well as developing their personal relationship with Christ, are all accomplished through every TeenPact experience. Watching the Interns and Staff lead shows how much TeenPact pours into these student leaders. TeenPact is an amazing organization and I wouldn’t have seen this view as much as I did without attending Congress.”


Abigail Esch, Rebekah’s daughter, who attended Congress this summer as a 13 year old, says of her experience, “Congress and TeenPact in general have changed my life. And that’s not through learning about cameras, legislative processes, or student loan forgiveness. It’s through learning about Jesus – the only One who can really change lives to change the world.”

Abigail explains why she wanted to attend Congress: “I loved my first State Class. While I thoroughly enjoyed every part of the week, my favorite part was TeenPact Legislature, commonly referred to amongst TeenPact students as TP Leg. When I heard about Congress, I knew it was an Alumni Event I had to attend. As I continued to research Congress, I discovered there was a reporter’s track. While I loved TP Leg, and that was the main reason I was going to Congress, I began to consider that instead. I had run a newspaper for my homeschool co-op for several years, and loved the idea of broadcasting, so it did seem like a perfect fit for me. And I was right.”


Abigail continues, “Upon arriving at Congress, I was a little bit shy. I was the youngest (I’m only 13, pretty young for a TeenPact alumni event), and knew only one person not counting our Program Director, Brent Vastbinder. But I immediately started to find my place. Throughout the week, I had so much fun and grew so much in my leadership skills. I got to write scripts and be an anchor for the nightly TeenPact Network News broadcasts, participate in press conferences, and, during free time, play card games and get to know fellow alumni and the interns.”


Abigail concludes, “But there’s one thing that made Congress an invaluable life experience – the worship, teaching, and Christian community one can only find in a place like TeenPact. Our Class Director, Scott Wylie, gave a sermon series on Habbakuk, a book of the Bible I had never paid any attention to before. Mr. Wylee made it interesting and engaging. One of my favorite sessions was about worshiping God. Mr. Wylie said that worship includes humbly acknowledging that God is great, focusing on His kingdom, confessing our fears, and having joyful confidence in the salvation of God. I had never thought about worship in that way before, but it made me realize worship is so much more than just singing praise to God – it’s a lifestyle reflected in our humility.”


Thank you to all who have given to make the life-changing event of Congress possible!