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Hartselle girl represents state at World Congress

Hanging out with teens her own age from all over the world on the UCLA campus was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity experienced by Hartselle’s Megan Smith as one of two Alabama’s ambassadors to the 2010 World Leadership Conference in Los Angeles, Calif. July 23-30.
“It was fantastic—a life-changing experience,” Megan said. “The best part was getting to meet and make friends with ambassadors from many other countries.  I roomed with a girl from Taiwan and became a friend of hers as well as a girl from Iraq. We plan to keep in touch by e-mail. Thankfully, interpreters were not needed; they all were fluent in English.”
The Hartselle High School junior experienced other memorable activities such as being one of eight out of 400 ambassadors who were chosen to present their ideas for a community service project to the Congress. Her project was titled “Stories for Smiles” and involved a community book drive with donated books being distributed to elementary school students.
She also participated in a “Heal the Bay” community service project at the Santa Maria Pier, picking up litter and trash on the beach., toured the Getty Museum and watched world champion tennis player Andre Agassi compete in a charity tennis tournament.
“We were up and going from 5:30 a.m. to midnight every day,” Megan said. “I was tired out when I got home but it was worth it.”
Megan was chosen to represent Alabama at the World Leadership Congress after attending the Hugh O’Brian Leadership Conference at Troy State University last May. Subsequently, she was recognized at a Hartselle School Board meeting and presented with a certificate of achievement.
As an ambassador Megan was able to come face to face with today’s top leaders in business, government, medicine, education and philanthropy.  She was also taught to think globally and critically, enhance her leadership skills and meet other students who share a desire to lead and make their schools, communities and countries better places.
Megan is the daughter of Jeff and Pam Smith of Hartselle.