MEDFORD - Mikayla Kelz grew up around politics.
"When I was little my dad was actually a politician--just a local one, a district attorney," said Kelz.
Seeing her dad work got Kelz interested in politics too.
"I remember going on the campaign trail with him and that just kind of sparked my interest," said Kelz.
Given her family history, it only made sense for the Medford Area Senior High School senior to apply to be a delegate for the United States Senate Youth Program. Only two applicants from each state are chosen, and Mikayla couldn't contain her excitement when she found out she was one of them.
"I was actually at school and I was freaking out," she said. "I'm pretty sure I told everyone. I went up to the office. I told my teacher, Mrs. Gelhaus--we had a long talk about it/ I called my dad and I was basically crying I was so excited."
Teacher Barb Galhaus says Kelz has always been a standout student who showed interest in her community.
"I've seen her around town at different events that have happened in our community," Gelhaus. "She's always there where many of her age group probably wouldn't show up."
Kelz will go to Washington D.C. for a week in March for the program. The Wisconsin delegates will get to have dinner with U.S. Senators Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin, hear a variety of guest speakers, and even get to meet the president.
"I'm really looking forward to going into the White House because I've always wanted to go inside and see it, but I'm also really looking forward to meeting the students there and getting to network and kind of seeing all these different views," said Kelz.
Until March, Kelz will be counting down the days. While she is across the country, those who helped her get there will be at home supporting her.
"For me it's very interesting to see her journey, so it's been special for me to be a part of it as far as hearing what's happening what she gets to do, and I'm so curious to see where she is 10 years from now," said Gelhaus.
Kelz hopes to go into a career in public service. She will also receive a $10,000 scholarship to her college of choice through the program.