Centre junior studies in D.C.

Staff writer

Most high school students wouldn’t call studying the U.S. Constitution for six days their idea of summer fun, but Ally Basore of Burdick would after attending a constitutional academy July 7 to 12 in Washington, D.C.

Ally was one of 50 students from across the country accepted into the program, sponsored by the Bill of Rights Institute. She received a scholarship from Koch Foundation.

“The experience was filled with intense learning,” Ally said. “My vocabulary doubled, and I enjoyed the intellectual conversations within the group debates.”

Students had mixed views, she said, but everyone was respectful. They heard lectures followed by discussion and debate.

On the subject of the Bill of Rights, Ally said, the group conceded the First Amendment was the most important. They also agreed the U.S. Constitution does not need to be changed.

Several panels of recent college graduates inspired her to get involved in politics. One panelist was a constitutional lawyer at a Washington law firm. Panelists stressed the need to be open to all views.

“I felt I became a more well-rounded individual from the discussions we had,” Ally said. “I’ve come back with a better understanding of both sides and how important the Constitution is to our society.”

She also gained a deeper understanding of how a free-market economy works.

‘‘A talk about the free-market system helped me see what things the government should or should not do,” she said.

A presentation by Robert McDonald, a U.S. Military Academy history professor, impressed upon her the importance of knowing early American history to understand why America is unique.

Trips to Capitol Hill and the Newseum were “enlightening,” she said, and a tour of National Holocaust Museum was “overwhelming.”

Ally, a junior at Centre High School, plans to pursue a career in bio-chemical engineering. Richard and Angela Basore are her parents.

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