WOOD RIVER JCT. — Chariho Middle School student Anna LaCroix of Richmond has been chosen Rhode Island’s 2018 Governor for a Day.
In announcing her selection, Gov. Gina Raimondo praised Anna for her submitted essay, which reflects her strong views on several social issues.
"I was blown away by Anna's intelligence and her passion for making Rhode Island a better, safer place for all," Raimondo said. "Her essay delved into complex, challenging issues, and she wrote with maturity beyond her years.”
Superintendent of Schools Barry Ricci agreed that Anna, who is 14, showed considerable poise.
“Anna is an exceptional young lady,” he said. “Her levels of poise, maturity, and self-confidence are exceptional. Equally important, Anna's passion and quest for knowledge make her unique among her peers. There is little doubt that we will be hearing great things about Anna's accomplishments in the future.”
Anna’s essay, which tackled several controversial topics, was chosen from hundreds of entries from girls throughout the state.
“Sexual assault and equal pay, I’ve grown up studying about,” she said. “Gun control has come to my attention due to recent events, so I feel strongly about that now, too.”
The essay, she explained, took several days to write.
“I did it a little bit each day, so it took about a week,” she said. “I just wrote down, on a separate piece of paper, my main ideas, and sort of wrote them out in an essay.”
Anna’s mother, Kirsten, said the family was unaware that she had even submitted an essay.
“Both my husband and I are just thrilled for Anna,” she said in an email message. “We didn't know she submitted an essay. She mentioned thinking about writing it and we’re impressed that she followed through on her own. That is impressive for anybody, never mind an eighth-grader who already has a full plate!
“It will be a great opportunity for Anna to see how change is made on a larger, state level and to be inspired by the work that our elected officials do each day. Mostly, we are in awe of her courage to not only learn about important and complex issues but then to feel confident in finding her own voice in taking what she is learning and using it as a way to advocate. She is seeing and feeling the impact of that courage and learning that being courageous is not the easy road.”
Gov. Raimondo telephoned Anna on April 6 to tell her she had won.
“I was surprised,” Anna said. “I was also very excited.”
Anna will assume her role as governor on April 26.
“They are sending me an itinerary with everything, but I know that I’ll get sworn in at the beginning of the day and I’ll get to meet people, [and] shadow the governor,” she said.