2 Europe students earn trip to D.C. in youth program
Two Europe-based military school seniors will pack their bags next spring for Capitol Hill, where they will rub elbows with some of the country’s most powerful politicians.
Kaiserslautern (Germany) High School’s Michael Ross Boone and Rota (Spain) High School’s Luke Moragne will represent the Department of Defense Education Activity in the 2009 United States Senate Youth Program.
The application process began soon after school started this fall and included three quizzes on U.S. government, a 500-word essay and a taped interview to answer five random questions about world affairs.
Moragne said he is passionate about politics and the experience will likely aid him in his aspiration to become a military lawyer. While he awaits word on whether he has been accepted to the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland, he’s developed a backup plan to use his ROTC scholarship to attend college elsewhere, if necessary.
Moragne said he is "academically, not really the best student." But he said his extra curricular activities — from serving as student council president and being a member of the Future Business Leaders of America to intense participation in football, track and field, and soccer — make him a "well-rounded" student.
"He’s very personable, he’s very well-spoken, and he is courageous," Rota High Principal Doug McEnery said. "He’s not afraid to speak his mind."
Boone, 17, said he prepared over the summer, brushing up on politics and current events. He hopes to meet one of his home state senators, Democrat Jim Webb of Virginia, and perhaps President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden.
"Just meeting them and being in their presence would be the ultimate experience for me as a student," said Boone.
If, or when, Kaiserslautern High School last had a youth senate representative is unknown, social studies teacher Ted Telle said. In Telle’s seven years at the high school, Boone is the first.
Telle, who taught Boone in his sophomore year, isn’t surprised by his former star pupil’s success. What he still can’t figure out is how Boone — student government president, tennis team captain, 2008 teen volunteer of the year, among other accolades — manages to do so much.
"He’s just one of the most outstanding kids we’ve ever had and that I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing," Telle said.
In March, Boone and Moragne, along with the other 102 student delegates, will spend an all-expenses-paid week in Washington, D.C., to observe the federal government in action. In addition to the military’s school system, two representatives from each state and the District of Columbia will attend.
Their selection for the Senate Youth Program earned them $5,000 college scholarships — and the ultimate civics lesson.
The students will hear major policy addresses by senators, Cabinet members and officials from the departments of State and Defense. They also will meet a U.S. Supreme Court justice, according to the program’s Web site.