Melissa Berg
Melissa Berg was selected as one of two students from Arizona to attend the 2011 Congressional Academy for American History and Civics in Washington D.C. Submitted photo

A local high school student was one of a select few accepted to participate in a nationwide program designed to teach students about three important events in American history.

Horizon Honors High School junior Melissa Berg was recently accepted as one of two students from Arizona to attend the 2011 Congressional Academy for American History and Civics and will travel to Washington, D.C. on June 26.

There, she will spend 12 days with 111 other students from around the U.S. as they take part in a variety of activities that focus on three important events - the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the Gettysburg Address and Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. The academy includes trips to Philadelphia and Gettysburg.

"I am really interested in U.S. history so it was exciting to be selected," Berg, 17, said.

She said she finds U.S. policy and involvement in international affairs interesting because "it seems more real."

"They are things that are happening right now," Berg said. "It is relevant to the current time."

She submitted an application and an essay to the program in which she wrote about why she was interested and why she should get accepted. Berg said she was one of more than 700 applicants who applied to the program.

"I wrote that I loved my AP (Advanced Placement) U.S. History class and about how me and my family like to debate about current events," she said. "I am very opinionated when it comes to that."

The academy will expand on her knowledge of American history as she participates in seminars and lectures put on by college professors from different parts of the country.

The trip is all-expenses paid and is funded for by the U.S. Department of Education. Students who attend and meet all the requirements will receive three credit hours from Ashland University, situated in Ashland, Ohio, which developed the Congressional Academy. The academy is open to high school juniors.

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