Jensen Cooper wins trip to D.C. by knowing his Constitution

Jensen Cooper outside Capital Hill. Photo provided

Sarah Teeselink’s Talented and Gifted (TAG) class has been participating in the Know Your Constitution program through the Iowa State Bar Foundation, IOLTA, and County Bar Associations for several years. It’s an event that encourages young minds to learn more about the Constitution and what it stands for by giving them an open test (meaning they can use informational resources during the exam) of 50 multiple choice questions and writing an essay. Of those competing, 100 finalists from across Iowa are chosen and invited to a special luncheon where five of their names are drawn at random to win a free trip to Washington, D.C. to experience the Nation’s Capital firsthand. Eagle Grove has been fortunate to have several finalists over the years, but none of the students have ever won the trip...until this year.

This year, Teeselink had three students write the essay, with two chosen as part of the 100 finalists. Jensen Cooper, a freshman at Eagle Grove High School was one of them. The essay he wrote addressed the hypothetical “ripped from the headlines” type situations where Oscar The Grouch was facing a Constitutional crisis. The questions he had to write about included:

1.) Was the Special Counsel Protection Act is constitutional?

2.) Was the President’s pardon valid?

3.) How can Congress reign in the President?

Coopers job was to answer these three questions in 200 - 1,000 words with supporting points of his interpretation of why they were or were not Constitutional.

When Cooper found out he was a finalist, he was beyond excited because he has had a strong interest in politics since he saw Ted Cruz on the campaign trail in Goldfield in 2015. That’s when the fire was lit and he attended several other Town Hall meetings. He even has gone to the State Republican Convention.

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