Updated: 04/22/2014 10:58 PM
Created: 04/22/2014 6:09 PM WNYT.com
By: WNYT Staff
A Bennington High School student came in first out of 400 in a state-wide contest.
Her prize wasn't a shopping spree, check or even a scholarship.
It was the chance to spend about an hour with Vermont State Senator Bernie Sanders.
The kids at Mt. Anthony Union High School in Bennington weren't even born yet when Bernie Sanders entered politics.
However, that doesn't mean they don't know the issues on which the longest serving independent in U.S. history built his career.
Junior Lexi Federhen won an essay contest sponsored by Vermont's junior senator and the prize was a town hall forum at the winner's school. The topics ranged from the Affordable Care Act – not all the students agreed with the Sanders' position, to the funding of higher education – an issue with more consensus considering the crowd.
“It pleases me to hear kids thinking about the issues facing our country and coming up with ideas on how we can solve it,” said Sen. Sanders.
Most in the classroom can't even vote yet.
However, if there's one thing Bernie Sanders wants them to remember -- it's to make sure their voices are heard.
“You have got to decide what you think, what your view is, and who aligns with your view,” Sanders told the kids.
Which is as the saying goes in Washington – very bi-partisan.