Cabrillo student eyes Yale program

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Cabrillo High School sophomore Blessing Mullis has her sights set on
a Yale University program this summer, but first must raise $4,600 for
the trip.

Mullis wants to participate in
the month-long Junior Statesmen Summer School for students interested
in politics and government. To ensure she is able to attend, she is
seeking community support in the form of a sponsorship. Her family is
paying for part of the program, so Mullis hopes to raise $3,000 to help
realize her dream.

“If I don’t raise enough money to go this summer, I will go next summer,” she said.

A
total of 250 high-achieving high school students are selected for the
program, which runs from June 24 to July 19. Students who attend will
be taking college courses in American government and speech, as well as
holding debates on public policy controversies. Students will also be
meeting with government, business and media leaders.

“It
is an honor to be selected for this summer school and I am excited
about attending,” Mullis said. She has been selected for the program
because of her academic record and leadership qualities. She is a
volunteer at the Cabrillo High School Aquarium.

Mullis
said students can apply for the program or receive a teacher
recommendation for it. She both applied to be accepted and had help
with recommendations from her English teacher, Kristen Wilkins.

“It
depends on if students and teachers think you can do it,” she said of
the program, which looks for the most dedicated students. Once a
student is accepted, they take an advance placement class in three
weeks, where they learn about politics and becoming community leaders.

“I
became interested in the program because for years before I had been in
student government,” Mullis said. “I also used to do community service
projects over the summer.”

The student said
that staying at the campus for a month would be exciting, as well as
being around other students who share her political interests. She
added that she would need to think about the issues she wants to
discuss with leaders she meets.

“I think
there’s a lot of things that could be fixed and better, but I don’t
have any real problems with how our country is run right now,” Mullis
said.

She added that she is looking forward to the debates, as she has participated in them in previous school years.

“I
find them fun and interesting,” she said. “It makes you think twice
about what you think about yourself and the side you are taking.”

Mullis is also not afraid of the college courses that she will take if she attends.

“I
am looking forward to it,” Mullis said. “I’m not the kind of person who
would back down from a challenge.” She said she has plans to take
summer classes at Allan Hancock College when her schedule allows for it.

Those
willing to make sponsorship donations may send a check to: Admissions
Director, The Junior Statesman Summer School, 400 South El Camino Real,
Suite 300, San Mateo, CA 94402. Please make checks payable to the
Junior Statesmen Foundation and include a note that Mullis is the
beneficiary.

Ryan McMaster can be reached at 737-1057 or rmcmaster@ lompocrecord.com.

May 30, 2007

The Lompoc Record

http://www.lompocrecord.com/articles/2007/05/30/news/centralcoast/news03.txt

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