While Kaysia Harrington was volunteering this past school year, she learned of an opportunity to bring together some of the top students in Kentucky to discuss modern issues through the lens of the U.S. Constitution.
Harrington is one of 35 students across the commonwealth to receive a McConnell Scholarship to attend the Young Leaders Academy.
The Young Leaders Academy takes place on the University of Louisville campus each summer. Lodging, meals and materials to attend the conference are included in the scholarship. The YLA is an opportunity for students to perfect their leadership skills and better-understand American history while interacting with their peers.
Harrington, 15, will be an incoming junior at Owensboro High School in August. She is excited for the program because of the many opportunities it will provide.
"I've never attended it," Harrington said. "When I found I was accepted I was ecstatic."
She is excited to get together with like-minded students to discuss contemporary political issues while revisiting American constitutionalism.
For her, it means a lot of opportunities, she said.
"A lot of opportunities are withheld from people because of their economic resources," she said. "To be able to go somewhere for free, it was everything."
Some topics of discussion include origins of written constitutions; Federalist-
see student/page B4
Anti-Federalist debates; disagreements about the proper role of government in modern America; the role of federal courts and political institutions in modern America; and what foundational law changes or amendments students might advocate for, according to the McConnell Center webpage.
Harrington thinks some topics that will be up for debate with be gun control, something she takes an interesting stance on, she said.
"I think it's going to be interesting being a leftist on the Republican side," she said. "I'm anti-gun control."
Harrington considers herself more of a Democrat, but she said gun control is one issue where she takes the opposing side's view.
Gary Greg, director of the McConnell Center, said in a release that the Young Leaders Academy is more than an educational experience, "but it is also a terrific opportunity for those who might be interested in being considered for McConnell Scholarships to the University of Louisville."
Harrington said her plans are to pursue a criminal justice pathway and to get into activism later on in her life. She has goals to possibly pursue politics, but not as a career, she said.
Bobbie Hayse, email@example.com, 270-691-7315.