Farragut High School senior Inshira Bediako will put her knowledge of politics, policies and government to good use in March when she attends the United States Senate Youth program in Washington, D.C.
Bediako was one of only two students state-wide chosen for the program, which offers participants a paid-for trip to the nation’s capital along with $10,000.
A qualifying test was required to begin the selection process. She said a friend had taken it last year, and “we had the same interests, so I thought it would be a good fit for me.”
Bediako said her own interest in various aspects of government was a draw as well.
She said the test “was difficult,” but did well enough that she was nominated for an official application. Bediako also passed that hurdle, and was among nine candidates to be interviewed before the final selection process.
Similar to the U. S. Senate in representation, each state selects two students to participate.
“It was amazing, once I took the test,” she said. “I thought there were others who knew more, but I was very blessed to be chosen. I want to thank God for this opportunity.
“It was also through hard work in what I am passionate about that really paid off.”
Bediako said she is unsure if she will meet her counterpart or how much interaction she will have with the other students when they are in Washington March 2-9, but she is really looking forward to the trip.
Bediako, who was born in the United States, is the daughter of Ghana natives Wayne and Naana Bediako, whose background encouraged her to help organize “World Culture Day” at FHS last year.
She also is president of the Spanish Honor Society, vice president of the National Honor Society, is part of the school’s Model United Nations and is a Student Government Association representative.
Bediako plans to attend college and study global health, with an eye toward “maybe becoming a doctor,” as she has an interest in international maternal health.
She is the third FHS student in eight years who has been chosen for the program.
“She is super awesome,” said Susan Bolinger, FHS director of college counseling. “She is just one of the great kiddos we have here.”
The US Senate Youth program is celebrating its 57th class of students when Bediako visits in March. It is sponsored by the U.S. Senate and funded and administered by the Hearst Foundations.