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Mr. Mitchell goes to Washington
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Torin Mitchell's height, along with his sharp attire, makes him hard to miss as a senior at Alcovy High School.

"That's the man right there," said Assistant Principal Kenneth Daniels as he strolled through the office.

Mitchell has been selected as Newton County's nominee for the U.S. Senate Youth Program.

Two students and two alternates are selected annually from each state to attend Washington Week March 1-8. Those who attend the week-long government and leadership education program have a chance to earn a $5,000 college scholarship.

Mitchell said he applied for the program not for the experience with government and politics, but for the leadership education.

"But I do want to be in a leadership position," Mitchell said. "I'm going to college for business, and ultimately I want to have my own real estate brokerage firm."

Catherine Crisp, college and financial aid advisor, sent Mitchell's application and exam to the state for review Monday.

"Basically, when I got the news from central office that each high school in the county needed to select a nominee, I looked at all the officers and Torin had great grades and really just exemplified the perfect, well-rounded student," Crisp said.

Students must be a member of student government to qualify initially for the program. Mitchell acts as senior class president.

Crisp said Mitchell's grades were not the only reason he was selected as the county's nominee.

"The other reasons Torin is such a good choice are the activities he's participated in, especially over the summers," Crisp said. "He's really pushed himself to fill up his résumé."

Mitchell also serves as president of the Alcovy chapter of the Future Business Leaders of America and editor of the yearbook and has participated in many tutoring activities.

Although student government often pits candidates against each other in a popularity contest, Mitchell considers himself a shy person.

"I've always been in the shadows during my high school years," Mitchell said, "and this is my time to stand out."

Mitchell said he felt incredibly proud of the opportunity to represent Newton County and Alcovy High.

"I cried in the car on the way home after they told me - one tear," Mitchell said.

He explained his mother's excitement after he nonchalantly broke the news to her at the dinner table.

"She called everyone," Mitchell said.

Mitchell said if he is selected as a Georgia representative for the program, he will have to perform research before he is comfortable making the trip. Not a world-weary traveler yet, he said he would be a bit nervous about making the roughly 660-mile trip to Washington D.C.

"I've only been to two states in my entire life," Mitchell said. "I'm very sheltered."