Students at Raleigh Charter High School recognized Constitution Day with a group reading of the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution.
Senior Michelle Li would have been in attendance that morning, but she was celebrating the living document in Washington, D.C.
In recognition of her demonstrated interest in government and politics, Michelle was invited to celebrate the Sept. 17 federal observance in Washington by the Civics Renewal Network, a coalition of 26 nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations advocating for civic education in U.S. schools. She was accompanied by the school’s academic dean and history teacher Shayne Klein.
During Michelle’s junior year, she enrolled in Klein’s Constitutional Issues course, where she joined her peers as they competed at the school, state and national level in “We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution“ competitions.
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After her junior year, Michelle spent the summer studying social science at the North Carolina Governor’s School West, where she learned about the impact of money in politics and campaign finance, with a particular focus on judicial races.
Her work, which led to the invitation to celebrate Constitution Day in D.C., included Michelle’s organization of letter writing campaigns with the politically minded, student run clubs at Raleigh Charter High, her submission of written pieces to The Cary News and The News & Observer and taking meetings with members of her local government to discuss the issues.
Michelle’s invitation from the Civics Renewal Network included the opportunity to attend a naturalization ceremony, view the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence at the National Archive and present her work to North Carolina Congressman David Price and an aide from North Carolina Senator Richard Burr’s office.
“It was amazing to pick their brains and learn about all kinds of different issues from their perspective,” Michelle said in a statement.