HOUGHTON - When people ask So-Jung Kim what she did over her summer vacation, she'll have a great answer.
Kim, who will be a senior at Houghton High School this year, was American Legion Post No. 90's representative to Girls State over the summer. The seven-day event held at Michigan State University for high school girls simulates local and state government in Michigan.
Kim began her week on the city council, then moved up to the county board of commissioners before running for state attorney general. She won her party's nomination, but was defeated in the general election.
Photo Courtesy So-Jung Kim
So-Jung Kim, of Houghton, delivers a campaign speech for State Attorney General at Girls State on the campus of Michigan State University earlier this summer. Kim was sponsored by American Legion Post 90 in Lake Linden.
In addition to government, Girls State also covered over public institutions such as the press and special interest groups. Kim spent the rest of her time in the state bar association, including mock trials. She was one of 30 girls among the 200 who took the bar exam to pass.
At Houghton High School, Kim is involved with Junior Statesmen of America, a similar organization to build awareness of the national political process. It was during one of their events that she found out about the program from an Illinois delegate who had gone to Girls Nation.
"I thought it would be fun, and also a good way to meet people across the state. and to represent the Upper Peninsula ... I like politics, and this was another pretty well-known opportunity to do it," she said.
Kim achieved a 4.0 grade-point average as a junior at Houghton last year.
She hopes to practice law and then enter elected office. She is working on becoming trilingual in English, Korean and Spanish.
Kim said Girls State also encouraged the girls to work hard and have pride in themselves while becoming strong females.
"It was very emotional but extremely empowering," she said.
Kim thanked Lake Linden Post No. 90 for sponsoring her.
"Without their support, I would not have been able to attend the program and experience any of the amazing opportunities there," she said.
"I hope they will be able to send other girls in our community to Girls State in the future."