A student from Midway High School is participating in the Henry Clay Student Congress in Kentucky, where 50 representatives are chosen from a list of applicants around the country
Savannah Sasser, a rising senior at Midway High School, is currently in Kentucky at the Henry Clay Student Congress, which runs from June 12–18 for high school students. At this congress, 50 students from around the country are participating in debates and learning from different guest speakers, which is helping them sharpen their leadership abilities and giving them the opportunity to interact with students who share the same interest.
“The shock of it still hasn’t really set in,” Sasser said about being chosen. “If you had told me a year ago I’d be able to do this, I’d be like, ‘no, that isn’t me!’”
Sasser didn’t start out from a young age interested in politics; rather, getting into politics started off as an opportunity to get volunteer hours. However, after being an NC Governor’s Page in July 2015, Sasser started to understand what kind of changes could be made with politics.
“I’ve always wanted to help out in the community, but would get half way invested,” Sasser said. “Once I got into politics, I really felt a connection.”
At the Student Congress, the students get to choose issues they wish to debate on, either from a given template or one they choose themselves. Sasser has chosen to do hers on the mistreatment of veterans and foreign affairs.
Sasser chose to talk about the mistreatment of veterans because, “It hits close to home. I have a lot of family in the army and air force. This influenced me, it’s close to my heart.”
When talking about foreign affairs, although it isn’t as personal to her as the mistreatment of veterans, Sasser says, “We’re just kind of everywhere with foreign affairs and I want to bring attention to it.”
The Henry Clay Student Congress (HCSC) is completely free to the students who are chosen to go. HCSC pays for the travel expenses, meals, room and board, and any other expenses that may be associated with the event. It takes place in Lexington, Ky. on the campus of Transylvania University. For college students, the congress runs from June 19 – 25.
Sasser, along with being an NC Governor’s Page, was also an NC Senate Page to Senator Brent Jackson in September 2015, and an NC House Representative’s Page to Tim Moore in May 2016. Senator Ronald Rabin recommended Sasser go to the HCSC.
This year at the congress, the present students will get to hold debates with US senators, US House of Representatives, US Supreme Court Justices, and more.
As the official website for the HCSC says, “the week-long Student Congresses gather 50 college or high school students with lawmakers, academics, journalists, and business leaders to discuss the importance of applying the art of compromise in every aspect of their activities.”
As for her future in politics, Sasser thinks she might want to pursue it as a career.
“I honestly do think I want to pursue a career in politics,” Sasser says. “I’m thinking of going into pre-law and then becoming a lawyer, then start to get into politics.”
Once Sasser saw how you could fight to get things changed, she wanted to be able to fight for other people, like she saw the people she was being exposed to fight for what they wanted to change.
Sasser has a lot of supporters when it comes to Senators, due to her experience working with them. “I made a lot of friends up there when it comes to senators. Senator Kathy Harrington…was very helpful while I was paging for Senate and House. Senator Brent Jackson was my sponser during Senate page.”
“I want to make a difference with this opportunity,” she says about her acceptance into the HCSC.
Reach Mallory Turner at 910-592-8137.