Bright Future: Cathedral student attends Lott Leadership Institute

Published 12:59 am Wednesday, August 3, 2016

NATCHEZ — A Cathedral School incoming ninth grader spent her summer thinking leadership, government and the problems with which her generation must handle.

Of course, the two weeks spent at the Trent Lott Leadership Institute at the University of Mississippi were not all serious, 14-year-old Fisher Iseminger said. She also made a bunch of friends.

“It was hard work, but I enjoyed it,” she said. “There were 21 people in the class, and I got close to all of them — you kind of have to when you go in not knowing anyone. Now we have a group text and text every day.”

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Iseminger was nominated by her school and accepted based on an essay she wrote about the biggest problem for her generation —welfare.

More and more people are receiving money, insurance and other benefits, but are not contributing to the system, Iseminger said. She discussed it with her classmates in class.

“Most of us agreed it would likely be a problem,” she said. “Unless you change something systematically, we are going to run out of money.”

That wasn’t the only essay Iseminger had to write, as she and her classmates had to produce one every night. They also read two books, “Mississippi Trial, 1955” and “Animal Farm.”

“We had to read two chapters from each book every night,” she said. “We had quizzes every day and class discussions on them.”

Students also worked on group and research projects. Two projects were coming up with a new political party and describing the ideal presidential candidate.

Iseminger said her group’s party was called the Superficials. As long as you did not abuse the right, the party believes a person has the right to bear arms. Iseminger said the fictitious party also was against abortion. The third issue for the group was that men and women should receive the same pay, she said.

One of the most important things for a president, Iseminger said, was being able to relate to people and communicate well.

At the end of the class, the students were asked if they thought the U.S. was the greatest country in the world.

“America has the potential to be the greatest country, but it is not,” Iseminger said. “Our education system needs to be done differently — we are ranked 14th in the world in math. We are also importing more than we are exporting, so we don’t really have the money to pay for the imports.”

Iseminger said she is glad she participated in the class. Iseminger said she went in hoping to improve her leadership and essay writing skills, goals she said she achieved.

“I learned what I needed to do to become a better leader,” she said. “More importantly, I learned what to bring home and share with my classmates and teammates so they can become better leaders.”

Iseminger plays softball as a catcher, is on the dance team and goes to ballet. She plans to join the Key Club in the fall and she is also on the Science Olympiad team.

“I am very excited about being in high school, but also a little nervous,” she said. “One thing that’s exciting about high school is you can be friends with juniors or sophomores, and I feel like I would learn a lot from them.”

Iseminger hopes to eventually attend Mississippi State University, most likely majoring in engineering.

The ninth grader said she is debating forensic science, aerospace engineering and biomedical engineering.

“I love the show ‘Bones,’ so I think forensics is cool,” Iseminger said. “I’ve always been interested in space, NASA and the space stations.

“Biomedical engineering — I think it would be awesome to make prosthetics for animals, like a tail for a dolphin or a leg for a dog, if that’s possible.”

She is the daughter of Paige and Barry Iseminger.

“I thought it was a great experience,” Paige said. “I was nervous about her going at first, but once she got there I saw the good in it. She learned and matured a lot — and her writing skills were definitely put to use.”