Copper Basin News
Summer break has been nothing but for one very busy Kearny teenager. Seventeen-year-old Stephanie Lomeli (Alvarado), who will be a senior at Ray High School this fall, began her vacation by traveling to Tucson early in June to attend Girls State at the University of Arizona.
The Girls State program provides young women of high school age the opportunity to come together to study state government. It teaches them to understand that they are an integral part of the political process. It helps them realize they have a responsibility to make tomorrow a better time, the world a better place, and that this job is up to them regardless of religious or political beliefs.It gives them the opportunity to live together under their own government, which is executed entirely by them, and to deal with problems as they arise.
For one week each year a NEW STATE comes into being. Boundaries of this new state are the U of A campus During the week the delegates learn about city, county and state government with emphasis being placed on political parties, campaigns and elections. They are challenged to use their initiative and imagination and make the most of their week by getting involved. Girls State is sponsored by the world’s largest women’s patriotic organizations…The American Legion Auxiliary.
Stephanie made the most of her week by campaigning for a Lobbyist seat which she won. She also participated in the Girls State Glee Club and also had the opportunity to meet and become friends with girls from all over the state.
After a short resting time at home Stephanie was off to the Valley to attend the Arizona Health Care Center’s Future Health Leadership Camp at Grand Canyon University. She was one of 40 students out of over 200 applicants from all over the state to be chosen to attend this Camp.
Geared toward students interested in the medical and health care fields, the students were given several opportunities during the week to see what these fields can entail. They visited a cadaver lab where they viewed three cadavers and were able to hold organs in their hands. This was particularly interesting to Stephanie as she plans to study for a career as a medical examiner after high school.
The group then went to the Chamberlain College of Nursing where they saw training in action. According to Stephanie, that was “pretty cool.” They also toured the St. Vincent de Paul Society facility in Phoenix where they were shown the many facets of the facility including the kitchen, warehouse, showers, clothing and thrift shop. The students volunteered hours while there and were given certificates for the hours they worked.
The students also visited the Tempe Fire Department and were treated to a Diamondbacks game and went rock climbing during the week.
When not out and about the future medical students worked on public service announcements that they presented to their parents and guests during closing ceremonies.
The camp is sponsored and funded by the Greater Valley Area Health Education Center (HVAHEC) and selection is based on application and a letter of recommendation by a teacher or community leader. Stephanie chose her high school science teacher Ms. Varley to write her letter. Although she never saw the letter, Stephanie said it must have been pretty good and she is very grateful to Ms. Varley for the recommendation.
“It was a really nice experience,” Stephanie said. “We were housed in the new dorms at GCU, went swimming in the new facility and even had a pool party.” The only drawback, Stephanie added, was getting in and out of bed. “The beds were high and built over a desk and study area. I had to climb on a chair and then the desk to get into bed, that was funny.”
With these two excursions behind her, Stephanie is not through for the summer. She will be headed to Flagstaff July 29-31 to attend the Inspire Arizona Academy at Northern Arizona University. The Academy is sponsored by Arizona Civic Health and during the stay the students will study ways to motivate their community involving civic action.
Selection for this program is also based on application and a letter of recommendation. Angela Ramirez, from the Copper Basin Chamber of Commerce, wrote this letter and Stephanie would like to thank her for her interest in the program.
She is a honor student, plays flute with the Bearcat Band and has participated in Cheerleading. Community service has included volunteering at her church as an Altar server, helping with community clean-up activities and the annual Easter Egg Hunt. She also ran for and earned both the Junior Pioneer Days Queen and Pioneer Days Queen crowns.
Stephanie is the daughter of Chris and Ruth Alvarado and she is most grateful to her parents for all their support and encouragement.
Her future plans include attending either the University of Arizona or Grand Canyon University on her way to a medical career.