Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill Visits VHS

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Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill Visits VHS

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Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill is the newly elected representative of the 11th district of New Jersey. Before Sherrill began her political career, she served in the U.S. Navy as a helicopter pilot and was a federal prosecutor.

On Friday morning, February 1st, VHS’s AP Government and Politics students had the opportunity to meet and talk with Congresswoman Sherrill. This meeting occurred during the AP Government Congress Unit and allowed students to gain a deeper understanding how Congress really works.

Congresswoman Sherrill discussed her daily life as a representative, which often includes running from meeting to meeting because of the different committees she has been assigned to. She also explained some of the effects of the government shutdown, during which Sherrill refused her pay.

Sherrill told the students about bills she was supporting in Congress. Some of these include a bill which requires universal background checks for gun purchases and an act to help bring a quicker end to government shutdowns by preventing members of Congress from getting paid.  

Students had the opportunity to ask Sherrill questions. Sherrill answered questions about her military career, which she feels prepare her for the pressures of Congress. She also answered a student’s question about the need for her to legally change her name from Rebecca to Mikie. She was concerned the election ballot would say Rebecca instead of Mikie because of a law requiring legal names to be on the election ballot. She changed her name to ensure the voters would know who they were voting for, since almost no one knows her by the name Rebecca.

Students really enjoyed Sherrill’s openness and felt she was incredibly real. Senior Maeve McGinley said “She was very natural when talking to us, just like she could’ve been a teacher or a friend’s mom. She definitely isn’t an out of touch politician, which is great.”

Students had a great experience learning about Congress from the person that represents their district and felt they gained real knowledge about how Congress works.

“It was really eye opening to meet someone who is a direct representative of our district and has a say in our country. She was really amazing about answering all of our questions that she could in the time she was there. I am so glad she took time to come talk to us because it makes everything we learn in our AP Government and Politics class real and not just things we read in a textbook,” said senior Nicolette Marino.