When Payson High School freshman Brett Goodwin's dad opened the mailbox last week, he wondered why his son was getting a letter from 1700 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C.
"Unannounced to us, Kathy Siler recommended our son Brett for the National Young Leaders program," Lee Goodwin said.
The letter was an invitation to a six-day program on Capitol Hill in October, when he is a junior.
National Young Leadership Conference attendees are selected based on academic merit and leadership potential by the Congressional Youth Leadership Council.
Goodwin will have the opportunity to discuss and debate current events and leading issues with national leaders.
The program features creative decision-making simulations that challenge young minds to solve problems and lead their peers through role-playing exercises in an energy-charged environment.
"Brett is consistent with his pleasant attitude, cheerful manner and helpful way," said PHS drama teacher, Kathy Siler. He is a student in her technical theater class.
"He always tries his best and turns in all work," she added. "Although quiet and shy, he is a creative thinker. I think he would be a good role model for his peers, no matter what project."
The Goodwins have organized two fund-raisers to raise the $1,469 tuition for Brett's trip. The first is a bake sale and raffle from 7 a.m. to noon on Saturday at the Butcher Hook in Tonto Basin. Next is a benefit car wash and bake sale all day, June 2, in front of the new Tonto Basin Marketplace.
Brett said he is excited to watch Congress in action and visit the monuments in America's capital.
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see how Congress works," he said.
"I am excited for him," Shelly Goodwin said. "I would have loved to go to D.C. when I was in school."