A 250-word essay earned an Evans resident a trip to the Democratic National Convention in Denver.
Mallory Mann, 18, a 2008 Greenbrier High School graduate and a freshman at Georgia Southern University, was one of 16 winners in the nationwide Future Frontrunners contest.
The contest, open to young women ages 16 to 22, was designed to identify and inspire future female leaders. The winners had a chance to meet the country's top women in politics at a summit at the Democratic or Republican conventions.
The summit brought the contest winners together with members of Congress, political and business leaders, journalists and advocates to learn leadership skills, how to affect public policy and the importance of the women's vote.
The contestants were asked to explain, "What I would do if I were president," in a written or video essay.
"If I were president, I would rearrange the No Child Left Behind act. I felt it didn't work," said Mann, who submitted a written essay.
She said she believes that under the No Child Left Behind mandates, teachers "taught kids to the test for funding."
As a result, Mann said, too many students do not retain information and are unprepared for college.
She said she was able to choose the convention that she wanted to attend.
"I'm kind of a bleeding-heart Democrat," said Mann.
She attended the convention on Aug. 25. In addition to going to the summit, she toured the convention floor and saw Michelle Obama conduct a sound test before her speech.
"I'm not the most political person, but I knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Mann said.
She said the women at the summit told the Future Frontrunners winners that they should not be afraid to take chances.
In addition, Mann said, their message was "don't be afraid to go out and do something to help. And don't be afraid to run for office."
Apparently, she has taken their words to heart.
Mann, a communications major, said they inspired her to run for the position of public relations chairwoman for her sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma.
She also said she is looking forward to voting in the election and that attending the convention was an unforgettable experience.
"I'm really thankful that I got the opportunity to go," Mann said.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.