VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A 15-year-old teen is headed to Princeton University this summer. Reagan Hines is currently a student at First Colonial High School and is in legal studies with a more than 4.0 GPA.
She remembers when she first heard about the program. She logged on the website and knew she had to go.
"I saw they had a speech and political communications class and I said, 'Me, I belong there.'"
Reagan will be attending Princeton University's Junior Statesman of America program, where she will spend the summer exploring the world of politics, international relations or economics at one of the nation's most prestigious ivy-league universities.
She remembers when she got her acceptance letter, she waited for her Mom to get home because she knew it would be emotional.
"Thrilled can`t even explain how I felt when I found out I was accepted. It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Wow! Hard work really paid off for me in this experience," said Reagan.
Reagan's biggest passion is politics. Her debate coach Aaron Pratt said you can see it when she argues policy and student congress.
"Honestly, I've not met too many young ladies like her at all. You meet a lot of kids at age 15 who need a lot of maturing, but she`s probably someone who is as mature as most adults I meet."
What makes Reagan stand out is her ability to take initiative. She knew she needed to help her Mom pay for JSA Program, so she set up her own fundraiser page.
"One of the most impressive things is that when I was watching her go through and apply for this program, she does everything herself. It’s really awesome to see her take this initiative and push through and follow through with it. I know this experience for her is going to be the kind of thing that not only gives her the cultural capital necessary to work in those kinds of circles, but will open a lot of people’s eyes as to what this girl has to offer to the world.”
She has plenty to offer and plenty of big dreams, including arguing cases in front of the Supreme Court as Solicitor General of the United States.
"I feel like I want to be in that role because I love the law. Whenever I think about it, I`m like why not be the person who represents the United States every time they go to the Supreme Court?" said Reagan.
Politics isn't her only passion. At First Colonial High School, Reagan is also in the marching band and plays four instruments including the bass clarinet.
While it is an extremely exciting time for Reagan, her trip to Princeton will be bittersweet. Her Mom will be deploying to Honduras and won't get to see Reagan off before her July 3 arrival date. Thankfully, they have FaceTime.
If you'd like to support Reagan on her journey to Princeton, you can visit her Fundraiser page here: https://fundraise.jsa.org/fundraise?fcid=639783