Flowery Branch High School senior Patrick Doyle may have a future ahead of him in politics, but he wouldn't mind seeing the process first.
"It would be great to meet influential people and see how things play out in the arena today," he said.
Doyle was recently selected as Hall County's nominee for the U.S. Senate Program, which could include an intensive two-day trip to Washington this March.
Director of innovative and advanced programs, Sally Krisel, said it's a competitive application. Only two students are selected from each state to learn from the highest level of elected and appointed officials in the capital.
The student delegates attend briefings with senators, the president, cabinet members and senior members of the national media. The program is funded by the Heart Foundation.
This in-depth exposure is meant to cultivate leadership and an interest in the political process for the nation's most talented young people, Krisel said.
"These are kids who have already distinguished themselves," Krisel said. "All of the kids selected had some extraordinary qualifications, but he had so many in so many areas."
Along with being a dedicated athlete in cross country, Doyle is president of the National Honor Society and holds an office at the state-level Honor Society. He is also president of Future Business Leaders of America. During the summer, he also participated in a Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership seminar, for young leaders.
"With all of this he carries a very rigorous academic load and participates in community service events," Krisel said.
Among his service hours, Doyle has tutored at the Boys & Girls Clubs, helped raise funds for Relay for Life and volunteered at a nursing home.
Doyle is currently at the test stage of his application process, which includes a comprehensive public affairs and government test. The next step is a state-level interview in Atlanta.
Doyle, who has never visited Washington, said would like to see a session of Congress and some of the attractions, such as the Washington Monument.
He's also given thought to becoming a politician himself one day.
"If I had any motive it would be to improve my community and improve the lives of people I live around," Doyle said.
As well as the free trip, students earn a $5,000 undergraduate college scholarship to their university of choice.