'Natural leader' heads to next phase

·3 min read

Jun. 11—After years of taking on roles in student leadership and advocacy, graduating Moscow High School senior Laurel Hicke plans to use her enthusiasm for civic engagement to forge a career in political science.

Hicke said she's participated in a number of student and community organizations, including the high school's human rights and international club, Model United Nations, and was high school liaison to the Latah County Human Rights Task Force. Hicke's teachers said she is a diligent student leader, organizer and activist with a talent for bringing people into the fold and making them feel they are a part of the team.

"The term I use is 'old soul' — she is just mature beyond her years and delightful," said MHS teacher Lee Anne Eareckson. "She really does light up the room — she shows initiative, and is willing to take charge without being domineering and bossy."

Eareckson said Hicke has been involved in organizing a number of events, including the annual Women's March in Moscow, a student-led climate change walkout at the school and the Human Rights Task Force's Martin Luther King Breakfast. She has also won multiple awards for her involvement in Model U.N. and even helped host the high school's first student-run Model U.N. conference.

Hicke has also competed on the school's track and field team all four years of high school. She said being a part of all of these teams and organizations have given her valuable opportunities to grow as a person. She said they also gave her the chance to be a key part in helping to grow these organizations, like Model U.N., into something more.

"I love kind of getting involved. From basically freshman year, I threw myself into as many things as I could and a lot of what I saw at the high school was super awesome things being done across all types of clubs," Hicke said. "I thought, 'This is what I want to do, I want to be heading up these organizations or these clubs,' because I had ideas for events and stuff."

Hicke said her family moved to Moscow when she was very young, and she's always thought of the place as home. She said she's grateful to be a part of a community that supported her interests and allowed her to grow and be involved. Hicke said a large part of the reason she has been able to grow into the outgoing, engaging person she is today is because of the community she found in Moscow and at MHS.

Hicke said she plans to attend the University of Chicago in the fall to study political science or a related field. She said much of what attracts her most to working in politics and political science is the breadth of impact decisions have at the legislative and policy level.

"I feel like if I were to become a political scientist, or to learn more about politics, I would be learning about the kinds of things that impact everyone regardless of who you are, just because of the nature of democracy and elected officials and everything," Hicke said. "If I were to represent people, I would have to represent everyone and I would have to be thinking about and thinking like all the people that I'm serving, and that's really interesting."

Hicke said her dream career would likely fall within a position with the U.S. government, particularly the Foreign Service. However, her instructors have other expectations.

"We expect her to be the president of the United States one day," Eareckson said. "Because she's very bright, a natural leader and she actually, sincerely cares about making the country and the world a better place for everyone."

Jackson can be reached at (208) 883-4636, or by email to sjackson@dnews.com.

Moscow High School graduation

Where: University of Idaho Kibbie Dome

When: 7 p.m. today

Number of graduates: 164

Health measures: Social distancing encouraged

Number of guests: Six per student

Livestream available at bit.ly/3whNBeW

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