By COLBY DENTON
A Bradley High School senior is getting a taste of local government by interning in nearly every position available.Local student and Student Body President Emily Harris has always dreamed of life in …
A Bradley High School senior is getting a taste of local government by interning in nearly every position available.
Local student and Student Body President Emily Harris has always dreamed of life in government.
"When I was little, I wanted to be president," Harris states. "Then I thought, 'Is this really realistic?' Once I got to middle school, I got back to believing, 'I'm gonna be president.' Ever since then, I've wanted to be president and wanted to be involved."
Harris is completing her internship program with the office of Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis. The program will soon run its course of five months.
Dr. Lindsay Hathcock, executive assistant to the county mayor, stated, "We have had almost unanimous requests from the people she has interned with for her to return when she gets older and work with them."
Hathcock has ensured that Harris' schedule is loaded with a plethora of different offices to work with in order to grant her the best variety of viewpoints and occupations.
"She is very interested in a political future, as far as working for campaigns, but also wants to run for political office later in life," Hathcock explained.
According to Hathcock, prior to Harris, the mayor's office has never had the opportunity to allow an intern to work in so many different offices.
"We picked the departments that we thought would give her the best variety, but also the ones that were available," Hathcock added. "Her hours typically consisted of Monday through Friday 1:30 to 3:30 p.m."
"I really don't have a favorite department in Bradley County government; they are all so great. Since doing this internship, everyone has been so kind and welcoming to me everywhere that I've gone," Harris said.
On the path to graduating high school on May 19, 2018, Harris states, "It is a bittersweet moment, graduation, because I hate to leave my amazing teachers, but I'm also ready to progress to the next chapter in my life."
Planning on attending Lee University next fall, Harris is hoping to major in political science, while possibly double-minoring in public relations and economics.
"Ronald Reagan is my hero," Harris said, as she displayed her Ronald Reagan phone case. "Researching what he did and the impact that he had on Americans' lives was just awe-inspiring and really motivated me."
Harris currently works at Food City as a cashier and babysits part-time.
"After I graduate and get everything settled, I want to start managing political campaigns, which will lead to my long-term goal of running for Bradley County mayor."
The departments Harris has worked with include: Archives; Pike & Road Department; Emergency Medical Services (EMS); Parks & Recreation; Trustees; Emergency Management Agency (EMA); Planning; County Attorney's offices; County Clerk's offices; and the Bradley County Sheriff and Court System.
"Whether the job needed her to work with the road department, or file papers with the Archives, Emily was always happy to help and did a great job," Hathcock said.
Harris added, "Government and politics in general are things that my dad and I bond over. Before I started working, he and I would sit and watch Fox News every night together. It was our thing that we enjoyed. Once I got to middle school, I definitely became more knowledgable about it all."
The 2016 election was also a big time for Harris, as she said this was the first election that she was knowledgeable about.
"This election made me feel excited! The economy is going to improve, the debt is going to be lowered and just seeing the parties change with President Trump's inauguration really encouraged me," Harris added.
Aside from her internship, Harris is involved in over six clubs including: the Chamber of Commerce Youth Leadership Program; Student Council; Beta Club; Interact; National Honor Society; Unplugged, the coalition of student who fight addiction; Tennessee Teens Talk Tobacco (T4); and work-based learning.
Harris is also actively involved with her church's youth group, Fusion, at South Cleveland Church of God, as well as working on the technical crew for her church.
"Emily is a very impressive, young lady. I would describe her as energetic, mission-oriented, intense and youthful, but while also having traditional values," Hathcock stated.
"I've enjoyed not only working with the people in government, but I've also loved working with the people who come in to the different departments. Meeting people and impacting others has meant the world to me," Harris said.
Harris completes her internship on December 14 just in time for Christmas.
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