Rebecca Dudley, a senior at Oak Ridge High School, has a passion for learning and she took that passion to 2012 Girls State at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont earlier this year.
The senior was one of 500 girls who attended the summer government camp to expand her leadership abilities. Dudley was city clerk for the city of Cabrillo.
“It was a lot of work,” Dudley said.
She was also a jury commissioner and on the platform committee for the Whig Party. She was elected to her fictional role as superintendent of education for California. The latter duty was important to her.
“I’m super passionate about the educational system, reforming and making sure that all the children have a fighting chance to have a good education,” Dudley said. “I brought a lot of that compassion into my campaign. That was really an exciting experience.”
Dudley said her roommate, plus girls staying at the dorms for the week-long conference, spent a lot of time preparing for their respective duties in their down time.
“Every day there was an hour we were suppose to sit on our beds, trying to take a nap and just be quiet,” Dudley said. “But I would spend it writing speeches and making flyers or posters. You’re up late, finish posters and speeches and help other people with their speeches and posters. There was no down time.”
Dudley said she learned a great deal about building a government and the “huge pride” of being an American while at Girls State.
“I have a huge gratitude for the military and all that they do,” she explained.
Dudley said she grew a greater appreciation for the United States military from hearing other girls’ stories at Girls State who have boyfriends, brothers, cousins and uncles who serve, or have served, in the military.
“Listening to the sacrifices that they have made, it was just incredible,” Dudley said. “Definitely an eye-opening experience to what it really means to be an American. It renewed my sense of patriotism.”
Dudley carries a 4.3 grade point average at Oak Ridge. She takes part in various school clubs. She also serves as an intern at the El Dorado County Courthouse in Placerville.
She’s involved in a theater group based in the Sacramento area that performs around Northern California and practices karate and gives piano lessons to children. Dudley has been playing the piano since she was 4 years old. She also is involved in working with her church’s youth group.
She has applied to one four-year college and is in the process of applying to several others, mostly out-of-state.
Even with her strong interests in education, she plans to major in law enforcement after she graduates from Oak Ridge. The teen said she could still contribute toward working with children in her law enforcement career. Politics is also on the table, Dudley noted.
Dudley was one of 15 girls nominated and five selected by Oak Ridge’s social studies teachers.