Mountain View senior experiences life as a senator
Kennedy Prock enjoyed the opportunity of a lifetime in Washington, D.C., this summer.
Kennedy Prock, a senior at Mountain View High School, got an up-close look at the U.S. government this summer.
Prock was one of two Arizona students named American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation Senators. She was selected for the prestigious honor at Girls State in early June. As part of Girls State, Prock created a mock bill, the Minor-Accessible Counseling Act, aimed to help students have greater accessibility to licensed therapists and counselors at their schools. She lobbied her bill and gave a speech to the entire assembly about why her bill should receive their votes. Prock's bill was one of two that received the most votes, earning her a spot at Girls Nation.
In late July, Prock traveled to Washington, D.C., for the Girls Nation seminar. She rubbed shoulders with Senator Jeff Flake and sat in on a meeting with Sen. John McCain and Secretary of State John Kerry. "It was a surreal experience to spend the day on Capitol Hill," Prock says. "It was exciting to meet Sen. Flake. He was very nice and welcoming."
Prock also was interviewed by PBS, received a special tour of the Library of Congress, and visited Arlington National Cemetery and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
The big moment of the trip, however, occurred when Prock and fellow Girls Nation Senators were whisked to the White House to meet President Barack Obama. "The President was kind and surprisingly funny," Prock recalls. "When he addressed our group, he was complimentary about the job we are doing as young leaders in our communities. We all felt empowered with his closing remark: ‘Now go out there and take over the world!' After speaking with us, there came the moment that I will never forget. I was able to shake his hand and introduce myself to him. It was truly an honor!"
Prock credits Mountain View's Leslie Granneman, her junior year AP language teacher, for helping her achieve this goal. "Throughout the course, she focused on our ability to quickly organize our thoughts and write arguments in 40 minutes. At Girls State, when they announced that the top eight finalists had an hour to prepare a speech about why they should be elected as the Girls Nation Senator, I was so relieved that I knew what to do! Because of the time Ms. Granneman took to teach me how to effectively write an essay, I was able to craft a compelling speech that helped me get elected for Girls Nation."
Prock aspires to become a political journalist in the future. Her experience with Girls Nation has confirmed that she can reach that goal. "Girls Nation reminded me that I can do anything if I put my mind to it," she says. "I cannot wait to further my studies in government and politics to see how far I can push myself in these fields."
(Photo courtesy of the White House)