Hazen student to meet Obama through youth program in March

January 2, 2009

By Jim Feehan

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A Hazen High School student has been selected to represent Washington state in the U.S. Senate Youth Program this

 March in Washington, D.C.

Lorilyn Roller, 18, is one of two students representing the state at the event. Roller will meet with President Barack Obama, members of his cabinet and senators to learn about public service and government. 

“I’m honored to be representing our state, and especially honored to be meeting our new president and his cabinet,” she said. “It’s an extraordinary experience, one I’ll probably never have again. It’s so exciting.”

Along with participating in a week of events March 7-14, Roller will receive a $5,000 scholarship from the Hearst Foundation.

The U.S. Senate Youth Program began in 1962. U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, of Maine, and Thomas “Mack” McLarty, former White House Chief of Staff for President Clinton, are among the program’s distinguished alumni.

A panel of high school principals and representatives of the Association of Washington School Principals in Olympia selected Roller and Shorecrest High School student Max Cho.

“Lorilyn has a maturity about her that’s rare among high school students,” said Bob McMullen, director of high school programs with the Association of Washington School Principals. “She’s also comfortable with adults and has a great sense of humor.” Roller serves as the student body president at Hazen. She is also one of two student representatives on the state Board of Education. Members are appointed by the governor or selected by educators.

In addition to serving on the board, Roller performs in Hazen’s orchestra (playing the viola), is a National Honor Society scholar, and is a member of the swim team. Roller is also a delegate to the Washington Association of Student Councils.

“It’s encouraging to see students so engaged in their communities and thinking about politics as a future,” McMullen said.

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