SCHOOLCHILDREN on this side of the Atlantic normally learn about American elections from textbooks and the internet.
But four lucky pupils from Leith Academy will be at the heart of this year’s US presidential election when they fly out to Florida to work on Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
The students, who are all studying Higher modern studies, won a competition to work as interns alongside seasoned political campaigners in Tampa. They will be canvassing voters and attending rallies for almost two weeks in the build-up to polling day on Tuesday, November 8.
The teenagers, who are all passionate about politics, are the only Scottish students to have been selected for the “Inspire US 2016” programme, set up education charity the Transformation Trust.
Before they fly home, Caitlin Munn, 15, Liam Stobbie, 16, Morven MacKay, 15, and Katie Ewart, 16, will swing by Washington DC to visit the White House.
Nadia Steele, a modern studies teacher who will be accompanying the pupils, said: “The experience will give the pupils a chance to work at different levels of politics in America. It will be great for them to be a part of something that’s had so much media hype.”
The pupils competed against hundreds of schools for the coveted prize. They were asked in-depth political questions and their responses were recorded to allow judges to pick winners.
Ms Steele added: “When we won there was a range of emotions, from tears to stunned faces.”
Caitlin said: “We are so excited for this experience. The pupils that went in 2012 got to meet Bill Clinton and Michelle Obama, so we are hopeful to meet someone of that level. It will be great to be there during the campaign’s last week.”
Amy Leonard, chief executive of the Transformation Trust said: “We are absolutely delighted to be welcoming Leith Academy onto the Inspire US 2016 programme. Each of the students demonstrated their genuine passion for politics.
“The programme will help them to hone their campaigning skills in what promises to be an extremely exciting election – and perhaps kick-start their own careers in politics.”