Kylie Birch and Sierra Parsons may not remember all their lessons in American government, but the outgoing Haile Middle School eighth-graders are keeping their fingers crossed they’ll get a refresher course this summer.
The girls, both 14, have been selected to attend the National Young Leaders Conference, in Washington, D.C.
There, the girls will discuss and analyze leadership at the federal level, meet senators and other government officials, tour museums and enjoy other government-related activities and lessons.
“We get to sit in on congressional meetings and tour the White House,” Sierra said.
Kylie, who has family in the Washington, D.C., area, said she is eager to see the governmental process in action.
“I like all the history there (in D.C.),” she said. “We want to learn.”
The girls are hoping to attend one of two upcoming sessions for the conference, which run June 30 through July 8 and from July 14 through July 22.
The trip’s cost, however, may prevent them from going. The girls are hoping to raise money to offset the trip’s roughly $3,500 price tag.
They’ve already sent letters out to friends and family to raise donations, and may plan other fundraisers this summer, if needed.
Kylie’s mom, Angel Birch, grew up in D.C. and is hoping financing will come through.
“I think right now, they don’t know what they don’t know,” she said. “They’ve just read it in books. For them to see (legislators) and how they represent the states (is a great opportunity).”
The girls qualified to attend the conference after their language-arts teacher, Khea Davis, nominated them to attend. Kylie and Sierra have maintained 4.0 and 4.8 GPAs, respectively.
“I chose Kylie and Sierra because they are two of my top students,” Davis said. “They are intelligent, hardworking and excellent all-around young ladies.
“These young ladies are natural leaders,” she said. “This conference will surround them with other leaders and expose them to skills that will help cultivate their leadership skills and give them an experience only a fraction of kids their age will get to experience.”
Kylie and Sierra said they also are excited to build their leadership skills and meet other students from across the country.
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Anyone interested in contributing toward Kylie Birch’s and Sierra Parsons’ trip to the Capitol can contact Angel Birch at Angel Birch firstname.lastname@example.org.