By MIA DELMONICO
On July 26, Caroline Irving, senior at Redlands East Valley High School, had the opportunity to be one of the two girls chosen from California Girls State to attend Girls Nation in Washington, D.C. During this special event, Irving was able to meet President Donald Trump as well as debate mock legislation submitted by delegates from each state through giving speeches and comments on each topic provided. She also got the chance to tour Washington, D.C. and was able to meet and become more familiar with the California senators.
She described this experience as “a rollercoaster of emotion.” Caroline says, “It was incredibly surreal to see the view of D.C. from within the gates of the White House.” Seeing as though this event was held at the Rose Garden, it is not hard to imagine the excitement and anticipation of a high school senior. Though Caroline Irving felt anxious about “being on national television and being seen and judged by millions of strangers,” she was able to use the opportunity to expose herself to differing political views and subsequently better herself as a politically-minded individual.
Irving used her experience from being an award-winning participant on the Speech and Debate team and Mock Trial team at REV as well as the Lieutenant Governor of Girls State earlier that summer in order to win the Nationalist Party Chair, which allowed her to run party meetings and oversee elections held for party delegates. Caroline was awarded the Outstanding Senator Award by the Auxiliary American Legion due to her efforts. After participating this incredibly life-changing chain of events, Irving said she was “emotionally drained because of the excitement of meeting the President but also the stress of being on national television.” She also mentioned feeling as though she was being scrutinized by the millions of viewers during the airing of the event.
Through this honor of attending Girls Nation, Irving states that though none of her political views were changed, she learned to collaborate with others “despite their radically different views on certain issues.” She was grateful to have an opportunity on this large of a scale. She has proven she was rightly selected through her outstanding achievements in and out of school. Irving is determined to finish off the year strong and excel even further in the future ahead.