Sitting on the plane during my short flight from Florida, thoughts concerning ALA Girls Nation swarmed my head. I pondered, “What will these girls be like? Will they be as amazing as my ALA Girls State delegation? What will they think about me? Will I have a good roommate? Will my roommate have a snoring problem?!” All of these questions were enveloped in a feeling of uncertainty and bound by inescapable intimidation. I thought to myself, “These girls are the best that our nation has to offer, how I will ever compete? How on Earth will I measure up?” When I finally had my first encounter with the Girls Nation senators, I was confronted with the harsh reality that I had good reason to be intimidated. This was the most accomplished and distinguished group of individuals that I had ever had the honor of being a part of. Surprisingly, the realization of this fact resonated very well with me. I decided that because I was privileged enough to be among this group of people, I may as well take advantage of it. I may as well make the most of this opportunity and soak up every ounce of greatness from the people around me as I possibly can. And after having nearly completed this week, I can genuinely say that an insurmountable amount of greatness has rubbed off of my fellow Girls Nation senators, and on to me. When I mention greatness, I’m not simply speaking of their greatness in the sense of politics and government. I speak of their incredible will to better themselves, their undeniable patriotism, their incredible courage, their inconceivable strength, and their inflexible commitment to excellence. In these last six days, I’ve laughed with you until I cried, I’ve cried because I felt your pain, and I’ve learned more than I could ever have imagined. And for that I thank you all. Much like SpongeBob SquarePants, as well as our great President Alauna Sessoms-Hall, I am ready. I’m ready to use the experiences and connections that I’ve made here at ALA Girls Nation to enhance not only my life, but the lives of those around me, as well as the beautiful nation in which we all reside.
Amber Johnson, Senator