OSHKOSH — Every year, two young Wisconsinites get to be delegates at the United States Senate Youth Program. This year, one of those students is Anika Larson, a junior at Oshkosh West High School.
“I just opened my email, and I definitely yelled when I found out," she said. “I’ve been wanting to apply since I’ve been in middle school.”
The junior is Vice president of her school’s student council, and she’s the co-founder of Let’s Vote Wisconsin, an initiative to increase young voter education and participation. Now, she’s getting an in-depth learning experience on the federal government.
“Obviously all the in-person stuff is gone and we don’t get to take the tours," she said. "But I’m still looking forward to it.”
Larson is one of only 104 students selected from all over the country for this year's all-virtual 'Washington Week.' As a senate youth delegate, she will get to meet members of congress and receive a $10,000 scholarship.
“I was just so excited for her," said Erin Kohl, Principal at Oshkosh West. "Couldn’t be a better kid at West to get chosen for something like this.”
Larson is an inspiration for other students who want to pursue careers in public service, said Kohl.
“Anika‘s kind of pioneered a trail now," she said. "Blazed the trail for other students that are interested in these types of programs.”
Larson is proud to be representing her school.
“I’d say that if you’re passionate about something, the sky's kind of the limit," she said. "Especially today with the online age, there’s so much accessibility, especially for young people to be starting their own initiatives and to be really making change in the world.”
Larson is excited for the Washington Week for many reasons, she said, but the person shes most eager to meet is Jake Sullivan, U.S. National Security Advisor. She listened to a lecture of his last fall and cant wait for the chance to actually talk to him, she said.