OMAHA – A University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) student has been chosen to represent Nebraska this summer as one of just 50 college students participating in a unique educational program dedicated to identifying future policy leaders.
Alexandra Snodgrass, a junior economics major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln who is also earning a certificate in gerontology from UNO, will join 49 of her peers in Kentucky at the first collegiate class of the national Student Congress, which is organized by the Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship.
Snodgrass was selected to participate in the program, which runs June 19-25, after writing a pair of essays on the topic of social security and her desire to be civically engaged following graduation.
“I explained why funding of social security is quickly becoming the biggest financial issue facing the United States in the coming years but no one really seems to want to talk about it,” she said. “My studies in gerontology, as well as economics, has helped me understand the problem in a unique way and driven me to seek out solutions.”
The week-long program, which had only previously been open to high school students, typically includes learning about the center’s namesake, presentations by national policy makers and an opportunity to practice policy debates like that occur on the House or Senate floors.
The program will be administered by the University of Kentucky’s Martin School of Public Policy & Administration.
Alumni of the program have gone on to serve as staffers in the United States Senate and House, in state governments, top law firms, NGO’s and leading US corporations.
“What I’m most excited about is really to meet other like-minded students from each state,” Snodgrass said. “I want to know what things they are doing and how we could benefit from those ideas here in Nebraska.”
The Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship was formed in 2007 to honor the American lawmaker known colloquially as the “Great Compromiser” and teach the skills of public dialogue and leadership.
Between 1808 and 1852, Clay served as a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives, the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate and as U.S. Secretary of State for John Quincy Adams.
Following graduation, Snodgrass hopes to continue her education with a master’s degree in Public Administration and work with local organizations to provide a voice for the elder community in public policy decisions.
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