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Two local students represented the state at a national leadership program.
Alex Russett, a senior at North Hardin High School, and Anna Huffman, a senior at Central Hardin High School, served as Kentucky representatives at Boys and Girls Nation this summer. The programs, which are mock legislative sessions, are for students selected from Boys State and Girls State earlier in the school break.
Russett went into Boys State with the goal of making it to Boys Nation. He was selected as one of eight students to be interviewed for the position before being chosen to attend the conference in Washington, D.C.
Huffman didn’t have a strong interest in politics initially, but her appreciation for it grew as she took part in the programs.
“It made everything real about this country,” she said.
Russett said it was a great feeling to be selected since it was a goal he worked toward.
“It was a real ‘I came, I saw, I conquered’ type moment in my life,” he said.
The program allows the students to elect government leaders and submit, debate and pass legislation. Russett enjoyed meeting the other students he worked with through the process.
“I’ve met some of the most outstanding people I’ve ever met in my life at Boys Nation,” he said.
The two students also had the opportunity to meet Sen. Rand Paul, Sen. Mitch McConnell and President Barack Obama.
“He’s very charismatic and he’s just very likeable, even if you don’t agree with him in politics,” Huffman said of Obama.
Huffman said she was somewhat cynical about the country before she attended Girls Nation, but after meeting veterans and learning about the government, she feels hopeful about the future.
“It’s a patriotism that you’ve never known,” she said.
Kelly Cantrall can be reached at 270-505-1747 or firstname.lastname@example.org.