Teen learns the ropes of politics at summer academy in Washington

November 14, 2011 

Blaike Bibbs, 14, of Pittsboro was selected to attend the Young Democrats of America High School Leadership Academy in Washington, D.C., this summer.

Blaike, president of the Chatham County and Chapel Hill Teen Democrats and first vice president of the N.C. Association of Teen Democrats, was one of 48 students selected for the four-day program.

In Washington, participants learned about lobbying and party subgroups, campaign management and outreach. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, House minority leader, was a guest speaker.

Also this summer, the Chatham County and Chapel Hill Teen Democrats hosted its version of "The Amazing Race" to Washington.

The event, headed by Blaike and other CCCHTD officers, including First Vice President Cortney Dowdy, Third Vice President Alexis Fearrington, Secretary Brianna Clark and Graphic Designer Dominique Dukes, was designed to help the participants understand local demographics and the process of a bill becoming law.

Participants, who came from around the state, attended workshops and heard speeches from elected officials, then visited areas representing five of North Carolina's demographic markets: farming towns, military towns, college towns, historic towns and planned communities. After a bus ride to Washington, the 50 teens toured the U.S. Capitol, attended a U.S. Senate session and did some sightseeing.

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