Letters to the Editor

Elections: Haugen shapes another leader

My name is Sunny Vanderboll, and I am a 15-year-old Oak Harbor resident. I have written a letter regarding Senator Mary Margaret Haugen’s support of the Island County 4-H Program.

In late 2003, Senator Mary Margaret Haugen, Island County’s voice in Olympia, attended the Island County 4-H Annual Achievement Night. 4-H is a youth organization, ages 5-19, that is project-oriented and values community service, record-keeping, public speaking and personal growth through increasing responsibility and leadership.

Sen. Haugen personally applauded every 4-H’er’s hard work and dedication. During her remarks, she advertised a leadership opportunity available to teenagers with an interest in state government, the Senate Page Program. As a nine-year veteran of the Island County 4-H Program, I vigorously pursued this opportunity. Throughout the application process, Sen. Haugen communicated directly with me and always responded promptly.

While I was serving as a page in Olympia, Senator Haugen took time out of her busy schedule to meet with me, to ask how I was adjusting to the demands of the job, and sharing with me on how she began her career in public service. The highlight of my page experience was working on the Senate Floor on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, serving all members of the Washington State Senate.

Before my page rotation was finished, I was already investigating similar opportunities to be had at the national level. Sen. Haugen helped me realize my ambition. Just last week, I received notification that Congressman Rick Larsen nominated me to represent the 2nd Congressional District and Washington State as a page in Washington, D.C., serving with 23 other Democratically-sponsored pages from across the United States.

Thank you, Senator Haugen, for your hearty support of the Island County 4-H Program. With the skills learned in 4-H, America’s youth can truly achieve full potential. We want you to know that your continued support, here and in Olympia, is helping shape tomorrow’s leaders.

Sunny Vanderboll

Oak Harbor

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