That’s how Camas teen Danielle Colwell described her recent “Mayor for a Day,” experience, which included lunch, private tours of the local police and fire departments, and an opportunity to address the City Council.
“Everyone was super nice, welcoming and genuine,” she said. “They all were passionate about what they did and wanted to share it. That was really cool to see.”
Colwell, 18, had the opportunity to job shadow Camas Mayor Scott Higgins after her parents bid on and received the “Mayor for a Day,” package at a Camas Educational Foundation auction.
Colwell said her favorite part of the day was lunch with Higgins and Jennifer Gorsuch, human resources director for the city of Camas. She also enjoyed a tour of the police department.
“That was incredible because I got to go everywhere and see everything but the evidence room,” she said. “Seeing the faces behind it was really cool. Usually when you think of the police, you think about getting a speeding ticket. But everyone was very nice and welcoming.”
During the tour of the fire station, firefighters mentioned saving a woman in cardiac arrest that morning. “They were so proud of what they do,” she said. “What really inspires me is passion for a job. You could tell everyone there was super passionate.”
Higgins said he was impressed by Colwell’s ability to think on her feet and her public speaking skills.
“She was extremely articulate and did a really good job with public speaking at the council workshop and formal meeting,” he said. “She is able to quickly think through what she wants to say and say it well.”
Colwell has been actively involved in the Camas Youth Advisory Council for a year and plans on majoring in political science at Western Washington University, where she begins classes tomorrow.
“Being mayor for the day was a fantastic experience,” she said. “I’m so thankful I was able to do it.”
Added Higgins, “I really enjoyed seeing the community through her eyes. It was neat to hear her transition from not being sure what she wanted to do in college to considering public administration.”