I'm told that 30 is a big step in the long march from an idealistic youth to a staunchly conservative mid-life. I'm pretty sure I won't become any less idealistic in my approaching dotage. I will still advocate for these same policies; the only difference being that as an adult my opinions are taken seriously. Why do we have such low expectations for young people?
Bill Clinton at the DNC said what white- and blue-collar workers have known for 30 years: you need to invest in people to have an innovative and productive economy. My coach, used to say "you get corn, if you plant corn." Neither in government nor in business have we been planting corn. We quit planting it almost 30 years ago when we got rid of middle management in government and the private sector, and as the economy reveals, we are losing.
When you meet these bright young students, the first impression is "wow, they're pretty normal teenagers." That impression doesn't last long. The minute they begin to describe their research, my mind reels as I try to keep up with each project's premise and findings. These are exception children, and they are our future.