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Thomas Stephenson, of Greenville, Michigan has a passion for politics. When Thomas was eight years old his grandmother took him to Washington, DC to meet with legislators from Michigan. That trip kindled his desire for a firsthand look at the political system. Thomas, who was diagnosed with a congenital cardiac condition, is now eighteen years old. On Tuesday, July 10th, U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) partnered with Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic to fulfill Thomas’ wish to be U.S. Senator for a day. Thomas joined Senator Peters’ for a full day, and participated in the Senator’s weekly coffee with constituents, meetings with stakeholders, a floor speech, briefings, media interviews and more.
Thomas will be attending MSU in the fall and plans to study nursing while remaining actively engaged in the political process – the cost of college being one of his top policy concerns. For that reason, Sen. Peters invited U-M, MSU, APLU and AAU to his office to discuss what colleges are doing in Michigan and nationwide to make education more affordable and accessible. Madeline Nykaza from the U-M D.C. office attended the meeting and discussed programs on U-M’s campus aimed at achieving that goal, such as the Go Blue Guarantee and Wolverine Pathways.
It’s exciting to see young people like Tom who are interested in public service and want to learn more about our democratic process,
said Senator Peters.