A teenager has been chosen by the US Embassy to spend two weeks immersing herself in American history and culture.
Shriya Samani, a youth councillor for Elstree and Borehamwood, was selected from thousands of applicants to visit America for two weeks in a project funded by the US government.
During the visit, she will visit Washington DC, Alabama and New York, where she will get to visit historic monuments and a number of high schools and universities.
Shriya was selected from thousands of people who applied for the opportunity, and believes a lot of this was due to her work with the youth council in the town.
The I Have A Dream programme, which is organised by the US Embassy, provides opportunities for young people in the UK who want to make a change to their world, or even just their town.
The Woodhouse College pupil said: “In my application there were some questions asking why I would be good for the trip and why I felt I was inspirational. I have done a lot with the youth council in the few years I’ve been with them, including being chairman last year, and it has really helped.
“My school told me about the opportunity and I actually ended up just having one day to apply. It was a really stressful time as I was also in the middle of my AS-level exams.”
Tracey Malton, finance officer and deputy clerk to the Elstree and Borehamwood town council, has known Miss Samani for thirteen years and said she was very pleased for her.
She added: “Shriya has always been such a lovely, well-rounded girl. She’s amazing, and I applaud the US government for making the right choice in picking her. They can obviously tell she has got what it takes.
“She’s quite a shy girl and didn’t make much of a fuss about it, but she sent me an email to tell me that she’d been selected and how excited she was. I’m really looking forward to hearing all about it when she gets back.”
After spending this week packing and collecting her exam results, Shriya will fly out to America on Friday.
She added: “I think excited is an understatement. I’m having so many mixed feelings now, because I’m so excited but I don’t know whether I should be nervous. I can’t wait.”