MARY FOSTER, center, of Bessemer, is shown with former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and his wife, Callista, during the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., early this month. Foster, a student at Ferris State University, attended the conference through her college organization, College Republicans.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Mary Foster, of Bessemer, recently returned from the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C ., traveling through a college organization at Ferris State University.
Foster, a 2011 graduate of A.D. Johnston High School in Bessemer, visited the nation's capital as part of College Republicans.
"I just joined the group this semester," Foster said. "It was the first semester it got back and running after a few years of not having it."
Politics is something Foster has been interested in since she was a kid, working with her father, Tim Foster, of Prentice, Wis.
"My dad is a conservative activist, and I listened to him preaching," Foster said. "That is how I became Republican, but I kept my views to myself."
When she got to college, Foster decided it was time to do something. "When I got to college, I wanted to join something, to make a difference," she said. "I wanted to put my views to work."
Foster attended CPAC with students from colleges across Michigan on March 6-8. While there, she was able to listen to many Republican and conservative speakers.
Attending were New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky ., former Alaskan governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, former vice presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Paul Ryan and celebrity Donald Trump.
One speaker really made an impact on Foster, Benji Backer, a 16-year-old from Appleton, Wis.
"He spoke right before Sarah Palin about his support of Scott Walker (governor of Wisconsin)," Foster said. "He spoke for Walker and received death threats. Despite all of the negativity he received, he still stands for his belief. He was a really great speaker."
Foster called the conference a "life-changing experience. It was nice to be involved. It makes you feel like you can make a difference. Everyone should be involved in politics. We are the future generation and we can change things. Most young people aren't involved, but they should be, because they can make an impact."
Foster is majoring in respiratory therapy at Ferris State.
Her mother is Susan Foster, of Bessemer.