A Leading Man At Lincoln Avenue
A Leading Man Achieves Political Office
It may have been his first time away from home, but Lincoln Avenue Fifth-grader Harrison Bench enjoyed his Washington, D.C. adventures as a Forum Delegate during the six-day program at the People-to-People World Leadership Forum.
Last year, Fourth-grade teacher Mrs. Janet Closs recognized that Harrison had the qualifications of “outstanding scholastic merit, civic involvement, and leadership potential” necessary to be recommended for the Leadership Forum, so it was no real surprise when Harrison was accepted into this Fall’s Leadership Forum.
Along with other select students from across the country, Harrison participated in small-discussion groups and workshops that focused on the decision-making strategies of successful American leaders during times of both national crisis and prosperity. Harrison also met Keynote Speaker General Colin Powell. “It was really fascinating meeting Colin Powell,” Harrison said. “He told us about his life and his dreams and interests. His message was to never give up on your hopes and dreams.”
In addition, Harrison visited many of the monuments and museums such as the Capitol, the Library of Congress, Arlington National Cemetery and various war memorials, as well as Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown. The Forum Delegates also attended an Embassy dinner and a dinner cruise down the Potomac.
“I had a great time on this trip.” Harrison added. “It was a great experience. I really enjoyed going around to all of the sites. I learned a lot of historical and interesting facts. I met a lot of new people. There were kids from all over the country. My favorite parts of the trip were meeting General Powell and seeing all of Washington. D.C. I learned how to be independent away from home. I hope to go on another trip with People to People again, because it was so fun and interesting.”
“We are just so appreciative of this opportunity for him,” said Harrison’s mom, Lindsay, who was tremendously proud of the success of his first trip away from home; and Harrison proved it was more than just “fun and interesting.”
Applying what he had learned when he returned to Mr. Joseph Dragotta’s Fifth-grade classroom, Harrison’s leadership skills kicked into gear during the Lincoln Avenue government elections. After winning the position of student-council class senator, Harrison competed with four other senators for the higher office of school president. Each candidate campaigned and gave a prepared speech during a political rally comprised of all the Third, Fourth, and Fifth graders.
When the ballots were cast and counted, Harrison Bench had been elected President of Lincoln Avenue's Student Government.
Congratulations, President Harrison Bench!