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Senior Ben Duwve standing in front of Rossford High School.
58e3b4af62c8e Senior Ben Duwve
Senior Ben Duwve

Ben Duwve Goes to Washington

RHS senior meets the president and tours Washington D.C.


Sometimes talking to your high school principal can be intimidating, but when senior Ben Duwve called his principal on Dec. 7, it was thrilling.

“Pack your bags you’re going to Washington,” Rossford High School Principal Tony Brashear told Ben.

Ben yelled for joy as he knew that meant he was selected as one of two Ohio high school students to serve as delegates in the 55th annual United States Senate Youth Program held in March at the nation’s capital.

It also meant that Ben will receive a $10,000 scholarship.

“That was one of the happiest moments,” Duwve said. “I just thought ‘oh my gosh, I just got $10,000.’”

The trip and scholarship was 100 percent funded by The Hearst Foundations and has been sponsored by the Senate.

Ben’s application included accomplishments such as student council representative, co-captain of his varsity soccer team, vice president of Rossford’s National Honor Society, and band co-drum major. He has been active in the Link Crew freshman mentoring program. He is also projected to finish at the top of his class with a 4.18 GPA.

The trip included touring the White House, Supreme Court, Senate Gallery, New Smithsonian, Arlington Cemetery, National Archives, State Department, and part of the Library of Congress. It also included meeting or hearing from the Librarian of Congress, Secretary of Senate, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, retired CBS journalist Bob Schieffer, the Surgeon General, Secretary of State, Ambassador of Israel to the US, Director of National Counterterrorism Center, and President of the Save the Children Action Network.

Ben Duwve in Washington D.C.He also met with several senators and then Vice President Mike Pence and President Donald Trump.

“I had a moment where I was like wow these are actually real people standing before me like they’re not on T.V. they’re real human beings,” Ben said. “Both were very nice saying ‘you guys are the future of our country.’”

Then, Ben was able to shake President Trump’s hand as they gathered for a group photo.

While shaking the hand of a sitting United States President was the most memorable moment of the week, he also had another very impactful moment.

Hearing about some of the obstacles that North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp has overcome to serve for state was memorable.

“Her speech was very inspiring,” Ben said. “She was diagnosed with breast cancer when running for governor. She lost the governor’s race when she was diagnosed but ran for U.S. senate and won.”

Ben’s trip was unforgettable, and he will be able to spread the $10,000 in tuition over the next four years. He is leaning toward participating in Ohio State University’s honors program while majoring in pre-law and considering minoring in Spanish, business, and economics.

“He’s just a genuine, nice kid,” Principal Brashear said. “He is well liked by his peers; he’s respected by the staff. So it was very well deserved that he had this opportunity.”

 
 

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