EAGAN, Minn -- In the picture, Eagan Senior Sylesh Volla is just one of 400 young men surrounding President Barrack Obama. But Sylesh, who was in the nation's capital on behalf of 'Boy's State', had his moment with the President, and that was enough.
"I thought President Obama would be a regular guy", says Sylesh. "But he was truly larger than life! His voice and his presence were just amazing and he smelled great! And, when he walked into the room he had this swagger about him and I didn't wash my right hand for like a few days after meeting him and shaking his hand."
The trip and the opportunity to meet the President have only served to whet Sylesh's appetite for public service.
Says Sylesh, "A lot of people will ask me, why do you want to be elected as a state senator? You know. Half the state is going to hate you half the time. And, I always say, I think being a state senator is always about service. As long as you serve, and as long as you try to help people, I think at the end of the day you'll feel like you made a difference.
Clearly, Sylesh isn't waiting until his election to make a difference. The State Vice-President of the Minnesota Business Professionals of America, and a Minnesota Scholar of distinction, Sylesh is the only youth member on the volunteer leadership board at Accountability Minnesota, and he's served as an intern for State senator Ted Daley. All of which makes his think he has unique qualifications when it comes to public office.
"I have a math background and a little bit of a science background and I think that's helpful if I want to go into government" says Sylesh. "I think right now a lot of people in the Minnesota state senate are qualified, but they don't have that diverse background that maybe the position needs, and I'd like to fulfill that role sometime in the future."
Sylesh, who would like to major in Economics and Computer Science, and of course, political science, has applied to 14 colleges. But, while he may not know where he'll be attending college, at this point Sylesh seems fairly set on where he hopes to live his life.
"I love the people and culture of Minnesota", says Sylesh. "You can actually spend time with your family which is a really good thing because not only is it productive, but it helps you be more satisfied in your work as well."