Ashley Burns has had an amazing summer so far.
“We got to visit places such as the White House, the Pentagon, and we got to live on the Mount Vernon Estate itself for the first week. And it was just so cool to be so close to the mansion and the piazza, and be able to roam the grounds after hours,” said Ashley Burns, MSSU Junior Biology Major.
The Missouri Southern junior biology student was one of only 16 across the country to be selected for the Mount Vernon Leadership Fellows Program. Also, they had the chance to stay at Mount Vernon, the home of President George Washington, as well as other locations in Virginia. She also learned about leadership from National Park Service rangers, as well as those in government and even the Department of Defense.
“We got to visit with C.E.O.’s, military officials and prominent leaders,” said Burns.
“She is just the perfect symbol for youth making a difference in our society. We’re very proud of her work here as a volunteer, very proud of her work here as a park ranger,” said James Heaney, Carver Monument Superintendent.
“We got paired with a mentor in Washington D.C. and my mentor’s name was Christine Smith, and she is the superintendent of five parks in the Washington D.C. area. So I got to work with her to develop a leadership curriculum for eighth graders in this area based on George Washington Carver’s values and virtues,” said Burns. 
“Incredibly bright future, she’s a future leader and I think one day she’s likely to be my boss, so I’m being very nice to her,” said Heaney.
Ironically, Burns says she wants to be a park superintendent down the road.