About 105 eighth graders from Sun Valley Middle School got a first-hand look at the inner workings of the federal government thanks to a visit Monday, Feb. 7 from Congresswoman Sue Myrick.
Students gathered in the school’s media center to listen to Myrick discuss her role in Washington, and address some current issues students were curious about.
“I thought it was a great opportunity for the students to see their representative in Congress,” social studies teacher Michael O’Hagan, who coordinated the effort, said. “This also emphasized our constitutional and federal governmentunit that we did in class. She answered all of my students’ questions quite well.”
O’Hagan said he was proud of his students and the intelligent questions they asked Myrick.
“They all came up with their own questions, and there were some very good ones,” O’Hagan said. “I did not feed them any questions. I was very impressed.”
Myrick said she was impressed with the students’ level of knowledge on current affairs.
“Some of the questions were so current,” she said. “They are really paying attention. And their teachers are doing a great job with them. They had a lot of questions on national security, with Egypt in the news right now, but across the board on just about everything. It was a good group.”
Myrick is currently in her eighth term representing North Carolina’s 9th district, which covers portions of Union, Mecklenburg, and Gaston counties. Speaking to students is a part of her job that she thoroughly enjoys, Myrick said.
“I’m always happy to come talk with young people because I hope that they first of all will understand how our system works, and secondly, possibly get involved in public service as they get older,” Myrick said. “It’s an area where a lot of people don’t want to take part.”
Eighth grader Alisha Hansen, 13, said she was a bit nervous about meeting Myrick, but after she did, she really enjoyed the experience.
“She seemed really approachable, down to earth,” Hansen said. “I asked her to talk about her thoughts on the problems with the criminal justice system, and she also explained the difference in local, state and federal laws.”
Fellow eighth grader Jasmine Lesane, 13, said she also enjoyed meeting Myrick.
“She answered all of our questions, I think that was amazing,” Lesane said. “I didn’t think that politicians actually liked to talk to us, but it’s great to know that people are listening to us, especially since we’re so young.”
“She seems like a regular person,” Lesane said. “I never thought she would be that normal. But she is. She explained all her opinions on things. She taught us a lot. I think it’s pretty cool that she was willing to do that.”
– Provided courtesy of the Communications Office of the Union County Public Schools