Leander High School's online student-run newspaper

The Roar

Leander High School's online student-run newspaper

The Roar

Leander High School's online student-run newspaper

The Roar

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Meet Future Politician Sean McColl

Senior Sean McColl shares his experience winning a trip to D.C. and becoming interested in the world of politics.
Olivia Straus
Cover by Courtney Brown

Walking through the bright white doors and stepping onto floors that are so shiny you can see your own reflection, shaking hands with people you thought you’d only ever see on TV and being able to stand in buildings that hold hundreds of years of American history. Senior Sean McColl did it all. 

McColl has been an aspiring politician since he was ten years old. Ever since he was introduced to the world of politics, he was hooked. He has attended political rallies, met politicians and even won a fully funded trip to D.C. 

“I first gained an interest in politics in 2016,” McColl said. “I remember my nana let me stay up late to watch the election. It seemed so crazy to me because the newscasters were portraying the election like a football game. I was intrigued, but also kind of surprised, because I thought politics were supposed to be pretty mundane.”

As the years went on, McColl’s love for politics grew. When he was given the opportunity to go to a political rally in 2020, he took it without hesitation. 

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“It was Bernie Sanders speaking for his presidential campaign,” McColl said. “It was super inspiring for me to see him talk so eloquently about issues that plague society, and it’s when I realized that I wanted to do something like that with my life.”

It is an ambitious goal, but I hope that eventually I will be able to make a difference in our country.

— Sean McColl

Last year, McColl was able to meet well known politicians Texas Representative Beto O’Rourke and former mayor of Austin Steve Adler.

“I went to a rally for Beto O’Rourke’s gubernatorial campaign,” McColl said. “This one was especially cool because I got to actually meet and speak with not only Beto O’Rourke but also Steve Adler. Being able to talk to them like actual human beings and not celebrities I saw on TV really humanized the whole job of politicians. I felt more confident than ever that I would be able to make a career in it.”

Speaking to the representatives was a great opportunity for McColl to see if politics was really something that he wanted to pursue.

“Beto is really tall. He’s 6 ‘4, so I was pretty nervous meeting him, but he was genuinely so kind. I only got to talk to him for a minute but he’s really cool,” McColl said.I got to talk to Mayor Adler [about] how there was a recent arson attempt against a synagogue in West Austin, and he sympathized because he’s also Jewish. It was really cool meeting someone from my cultural background in a position of power like that.”

In June, McColl was given the opportunity to go to Washington D.C completely funded by Pedernales Electric Cooperative. On this trip he was able to see a lot of political sites and meet congressional representatives.

“It was a really cool trip,” McColl said. “I got to see the Capitol, the Library of Congress, Mt. Vernon Square, the White House – name any cool thing in D.C, I probably did it. I also got to meet several Texas representatives, like representative Dan Crenshaw and representative  Michael McCaul.” 

This trip was a competition that students all over the United States could apply for. Participants had to write an essay and get interviewed before they knew if they were heading to D.C.

“The original reason I entered the contest was because my English teacher said if our class wrote an essay we could get ten points of extra credit on the next product grade,” McColl said. “So I figured, it’s only a 400 word essay, why not? Then I got called back for an interview. They called back 25 people to interview in front of a panel of judges. And sure enough, I won.”

Although he may have only applied to the trip for some extra credit, McColl was extremely glad he won. 

“I was really happy to win the trip,” McColl said. “I’m going to major in political science and hopefully one day I’ll be working for Congress as a congressman. It is an ambitious goal, but I hope that eventually I will be able to make a difference in our country.” 

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About the Contributors
Haley Hausam
Haley Hausam, Reporter
Haley Hausam is a senior and a second-year reporter. Her passion for learning new things has given her the opportunity to discover lots of interests. She loves reading, writing, cats and traveling. Haley enjoys writing about others and listening to the stories they have to share, as well as expressing her own opinion on anything from albums to books. After high school, she plans to move to Colorado and attend CSU to obtain her bachelor's in environmental science.
Olivia Straus
Olivia Straus, Creative director