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Waking up on Friday, Feb. 24, 2014, I can feel my body crying out for rest. Instead of the usual eight hours of sleep, I have slept an average of about 3.5 hours a night over the past five. Though the discomfort that sleeplessness brings is agonizing, I find myself wishing I didn’t sleep at all. This uncommon reaction is due entirely to a group of 45 young professionals known as the 2014 CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference Crashers. I had the privilege and honor to be selected as a Crasher for the 2014 CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference.

The 2014 Crashers were selected by The Cooperative Trust to participate in a specialized agenda in conjunction with the 2014 CUNA GAC. We represented 43 different states and Washington, D.C. On paper, the purpose of the program is to engage young professionals in the GAC and empower them to participate in political action for the defense of credit unions and their members. As a participant, you quickly realize that there is much more to the program than could ever be described on a piece of paper.

Although I could describe the program in detail with a complete outline of the events, I don’t believe it would give justice to what participating in the 2014 Crashers group meant to me. Despite the fact that the agenda was full, informative, and packed with many energetic and intelligent speakers, it was the people involved that made the experience incomparable to any other credit union conference or program I have ever attended.

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