Local Teens Participate in Clinton, Gore Visit
It started out as just another Friday night for Victoria Santana.
The 17-year-old South Tahoe High School senior was hard at work busing tables at Evan’s American Gourmet Cafe on Emerald Bay Road.
Suddenly she recognized a face she’d seen a month before while volunteering to set up for a water quality workshop at Valhalla.
It was Carol Browner – administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, obviously in town for the Presidential Forum.
“We started talking and I told her I was at the workshop last month,” said Santana.
After telling Browner about her interest in science and local environmental issues, Browner dropped a bomb.
“She asked me if I wanted to go to see the president,” said a beaming Santana. “I told her, ‘That would be awesome!'”
The very next day, Santana found herself three rows back from Clinton and Gore.
“I sat with the rest of the EPA people,” said Santana. “It was so exciting when the music started and Clinton walked in.”
After the forum, Santana said she was able to shake hands with both the president and vice president.
“Clinton looked me right in the eye,” said Santana. “It was an awesome experience. It’s not something that happens everyday – especially when you’re 17.”
But Santana wasn’t the only local teen who was able to participate in the official visit. George Whittell High School junior Megan Glasson was invited to join the press Friday for the vice presidential hike and issues workshop. The invitation came after a letter was sent to Sen. Richard Bryan, D-Nev. by Whittell journalism teacher Lucia Mason.
Despite witnessing the camera chaos, Glasson, who is the editor of the school newspaper, said she is still interested in pursuing a career in journalism.
Santana, who also works at the Red Hut Waffle Shop, said she may rethink her plans to go to medical school, as politics suddenly don’t look so bad after all.
A trip to Georgetown University in the fall is now in the works, she said. While in the area, she just may look up some of her newfound Washington, D.C. friends.
“I didn’t get to talk to the Clinton,” she said with a smile. “I had to postpone that.”
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