Michael Miller and Mary Margaret Johnson tour the Lincoln Memorial

When she applied for the Pete Sessions Leadership and Growth Program in Washington DC, Lake Highlands High School senior Mary Margaret Johnson didn’t know she’d be the only Wildcat girl participating in the summer internship with nine LH boys. Still, she says she wouldn’t change a thing.

“I am the only girl from Lake Highlands, but I’m with Lee Lueder, Michael Miller, Bill Headrick, Forrest Denson, Nathan Sandel, Brodie Johnson, Mac McCann, Turner Doggett and Tanner Dale. My favorite part so far I that we got to go to the very top of the capitol dome and we could see all of D.C.”

The kids were chosen for the one week program, where they learn about the inner workings of the federal government and tour the capital city. After treating them to dinner the first night, Congressman Sessions gave them a private tour of the house floor and let them deliver their own version of the State of the Union Address.

“We got to sit in on a House of Representatives hearing, and learn about what goes on there,” Mary Margaret told me. “On this trip I have learned more about how to be a better leader in my community and how to follow people who are leading me.”

Mary Margaret in Washington

Mary Margaret meets Mary Katherine O'Roarke and Maddy Madrazo of Ursuline Academy

Before they come home Saturday, they’ll participate in a debate, taking a position on “Should the U.S. cut funding for Medicare?” or “What role should the U.S. have in Libya?” Pretty heady stuff for rising high school seniors.

They’ll also have time for a little fun, including a Washington Nationals baseball game, a monument river cruise, a tour of Arlington Cemetery and a visit to the Smithsonian.

Mary Margaret says she’s also enjoying meeting students from other schools, participating in the program from other parts of Sessions’ district. In addition to these interns who pay their own way, Sessions offers the Texas Leadership Forum, all expenses paid, to students who might not otherwise be able to take part.

Congratulations MMJ and to all the Washington Wildcats!