Sat, Dec 21 2013 12:00 PM Posted By: Carl Robinette
Early in December Sabrina Mia Van Zuiden, a Hilltop High School senior, received a call notifying her that she had been selected to participate in the 52nd annual U.S. Senate Youth Program.
“I was like, oh my god. Oh my god,” Sabrina said, recalling that fateful phone conversation. “He was talking to me, but I just kept saying, oh my god.”
Sabrina was chosen to represent California in the program alongside Daniel Cameron Hamidi of Valencia High School.
A program of the William Randolph Hurst Foundation, the Senate Youth Program was designed as an educational experience for young students who show strong leadership skills and an involvement in government and politics.
In addition to receiving a $5,000 scholarship, Sabrina will spend a week in Washington D.C. along with more than 100 other student delegates representing each state in pairs. Students will be immersed in the business of the Capitol, viewing policy addresses and attending meetings with U.S. Supreme Court justices and likely the president.
“I’m most excited to meet the other delegates because there is a lot I can learn from them,” Sabrina said. “Their stories are so inspiring to me. They inspire me to work harder and remind me why I’ve worked so hard already.”
Boasting a grade-point-average above 4.0, Sabrina is actively involved in student government as the associated student body vice president and president of the Hilltop High United with Uganda Club, raising funds for a school in Uganda.
“We are so stunned,” said Sabrina’s mom Imelda Aquino Van Zuiden. “We’re so proud as parents. She just applied and didn’t even realize how important it was to her until it was announced.”
With college plans to major in sociology, Sabrina is pursuing a career in social research. She is casting a wide net applying to several University of California schools as well as some out of state private schools.
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