A Lawrence High School senior will get the opportunity to experience what it's like to be a U.S. senator.
Erin Thimmesch was one of two girls chosen from 250 participants at Sunflower Girls State to attend American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation, set for July 21-28 in Washington, D.C.
Thimmesch said she is looking forward to the experience. She will meet President Bush and Rep. Nancy Boyda, D-Kan., and work with other Girls Nation senators from throughout the country.
She said her experience at Girls State, which was last week at Kansas University, would assist her at the national event.
"It definitely taught me to be outgoing and cooperate and work together with other people," she said. "At Girls State, I worked with girls from towns with a population of 100 to girls from Overland Park, and met a wide range of different people. That should help me in Washington."
Claudia Satterlee, director of Sunflower Girls State, said the lessons of Girls Nation were invaluable.
"It's a life-changing experience for them," she said. "Their experience the whole week is just something else."
Before leaving for Washington, though, Thimmesch and the other representative from Kansas, Paige Blevins of Great Bend, must complete legislation they will introduce at Girls Nation.
Last week, Thimmesch's high school debate partner, Rachel Van Horn, was elected lieutenant governor at Girls State. The duo made it their goal to stand out as Lawrence representatives.
"We both kind of noticed that no one from Lawrence had any leadership position in the past, and we wanted to change it," Thimmesch said.
Thimmesch also was chosen as a Samsung American Legion Scholarship National Finalist. She was the only finalist chosen from Sunflower Girls State and is one of 100 nationally vying for 12 $20,000 scholarships.