Newport Harbor students meet their congressman

Several politically minded high-school students got a first-hand taste of what it's like to work in the nation's capital.

U.S. Rep. John Campbell (R-Newport Beach) visited Newport Harbor High School during lunch Thursday to meet with the Junior Statesmen of America Club.

Campbell spoke about his ascent to politics, gave them a first-hand account of the D.C. political scene, and his stance on current hot-button topics like the budget and the economy.

"It was really refreshing to see how down-to-Earth he is despite his responsibilities," said junior Nicolas Jaber, the club's president.

The Junior Statesmen of America Club is a chapter of a national, nonpartisan political club dedicated to preparing students for political involvement and leadership.

The club has been looking into having a political figure come speak and decided to ask Campbell because what he discusses daily are the issues they debate in the club, Jaber said.

Jaber, who aspires to a career in politics, said he found the experience humbling and reinforced something he had always heard, but never really believed.

"In the presence of power you can really feel it," he said. "When I shook his hand, it was contagious. I felt powerful myself just talking to Mr. Campbell."

—Britney Barnes

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