Smith ready to spend time at Capitol

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 1, 1999

Aaron Smith is at Youth Legislature in Jackson today – a place where he feels right at home.

Smith, 17, is a senior at Adams County Christian School.

The son of Dr. and Mrs. Doug Smith of Natchez, Smith will spend a lot of time in the state Capitol in the coming weeks.

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Today through Saturday, he will join hundreds of other high school students from around the state in a mock legislature, where young people will make laws for a few days.

During the week of Jan. 10-14, Smith will serve as a page for State Rep. Andrew Ketchings.

&uot;He’s a super nice kid,&uot; Ketchings said.

Legislative pages must maintain a good grade point average, since serving as a page means they will have to make up a week’s worth of school work when they return home.

Smith has a 3.8 grade point average and is a member of the ACCS Key Club.

&uot;I’m trying to pull it up,&uot; Smith said of his GPA. &uot;In the ninth grade I didn’t work as hard on my grades.&uot;

Crediting his mother and father with tutoring him through some of the rough patches in his academic career, Smith is now more motivated to produce good grades, he said.

Smith has a great deal of experience with legislation for a someone not yet out of high school. He spent two years in Youth Legislature and attended American Legion Boys State this summer.

This week at Youth Legislature, Smith will present a bill on voter identification.

&uot;I believe voters should have to produce identification to vote,&uot; he said.

Smith also participated in the National Youth Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C. this summer and National Youth Leaders Forum in the nation’s capitol this fall.

&uot;On the first trip, I got to meet a lot of people, but on the second trip I learned a lot more,&uot; he said.

Smith said he was impressed that representatives took time to talk with the youth delegation.

&uot;Ronnie Shows talked with me for about 20 minutes,&uot; he said.

Right now, Smith plans to major in political science and government at one of the following three universities: Millsaps, Ole Miss or Louisiana Tech.

He has formed a Teenage Republican Club at ACCS, although he admits he hasn’t had a great deal of time to nurture it.

Born in New Orleans, Smith has spent most of his life in Natchez. He has an older brother, Philip, who attends Millsaps College in Jackson and a younger sister, Lauren, who attends a boarding school in Opelousas, La.

A member of the Mayor’s Youth Council, Smith spent &uot;Make a Difference Day&uot; this October cleaning up a store front for the Sunshine Shelter.

He enjoys hunting and fishing. His largest deer kill has been an eight-point buck.

This summer, Smith will travel to the Dominican Republic on a mission trip.

&uot;I’ll help build houses and help with the medical side of the mission, too,&uot; he said.