United States Government & Policy classes at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School (PWHS) recently welcomed Congresswoman Madeleine Dean, D-Penn., to share some of her experiences as a member of the United States House of Representatives. 

Congresswoman Dean talked about representing the opinions of all residents, navigating a global pandemic and two presidential impeachments, working with historically significant leaders such as Elijah Cummings and John Lewis, and being part of a record class of 120 women who were sworn into Congress in 2019. 

“She shed light on the value of her role, specifically through emphasizing her personal commitment to public service, perseverance, and hope in today's people — especially the youth,” said PWHS senior Olivia Wellman.

The students also had the opportunity to ask the congresswoman about topics that were important to them. Their questions focused on school safety, LGBTQ+ rights, safe elections, running for office, educational opportunities, and the value of accurate information. 

“Something I will remember most about Congresswoman Dean's visit is how she wanted to answer every question we asked her. This was important to me, because it really shows that she wanted to get our opinion,” said PWHS senior Sara Zelaya. “Not only did she answer our questions, she also asked us what we thought the answers should be.” 

This semester, the students studied the responsibilities and functions of the legislative branch in class. The congresswoman’s visit was able to provide some real-world insights to the students’ understanding of the role Congress plays in government and society. 

“We are living in a time where a lot of Americans feel a disconnect between themselves and their elected leaders,” said PWHS Social Studies Teacher Chris Manero. “It's exciting to be able to provide a setting for students to meet a member of Congress and have an authentic opportunity to ask questions and make connections.”

PWHS government students with teachers and Rep. Dean