Miss Ana Claire Casas was one of these students. Carolyn Puckett at First Baptist Church School nominated Ana. She had several choices in conference sites with different agendas but chose Washington, D.C., for her love of history, past and current. Miss Casas attended the conference in Washington June 5-10.
“The aim of the Junior National Young Leaders Conference is to inspire students to recognize their own leadership skills, measure their skills against those of current and former leaders and return home with new confidence in their ability to exercise positive influence within their communities,” said Marguerite Regan, dean of academic affairs for the Congressional Youth Leadership Council, the organization that sponsors the conference. “Young people are not only welcome in Washington D.C., they actually keep the city and our country running.”
During the six-day program, Ana took part in educational activities, presentations and visited relevant sites, such as Harpers Ferry, W.Va., Washington, D.C.’s monuments and memorials, all of which she said were absolutely breathtaking. She also had the opportunity to observe notable U.S. leaders and historic figures.
While each day was extremely exciting for this young lady, she said, “I will forever remember walking into the White House and introducing myself to the president of the United States. I have traveled to many places, and they have all been breathtaking... but, for an instant, I really lost my breath. I think when I grow up and have children, this is one story I will tell over and over again. Learning about history and seeing these places firsthand makes you extremely proud to be an American.”
Miss Casas will be a sixth-grade student in the fall and will be attending Moreno Middle School, where she plans on being involved in the school’s student government.