Julie Holesinsky hasn’t had her driver’s license for two years yet. But last week the Caldwell High School junior took the reins of the Idaho’s second-largest state agency – the Idaho Transportation Department.
Granted, it was a brief tenure (three hours Friday afternoon), and was wholly ceremonial. But Holesinsky experienced what it was like to occupy the director’s office and oversee a department of more than 1,800 employees.
She was among a group of about 300 girls participating in the annual Girls State program, sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary, which introduces teens to state government and the democratic process. They spent most of the week at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa where they occupied dorms and held mock Legislative sessions.
Participants separated into two political parties – the Nationalists and Federalists – and introduced, debated and voted on legislative bills.
Holesinsky was chosen to head the transportation department Thursday night. The following day she visited with ITD Director Dave Ekern, toured the Division of Motor Vehicles where she learned about specialized and personalized license plates, visited the Division of Public Transportation, and learned about Idaho’s highways. She also talked with Carri Rosti about internal audits.
The Caldwell student said it was a “fun” experience. “Everyone needs to have a sense of government and how laws are made,” she adds.
An avid soccer player, Holesinsky hopes to attend Idaho State University after graduating from high school and major in business. She also hopes to secure a place on the university’s soccer team as a walk-on, playing left or right defender.