Pocatello teen becomes ITD director-for-a-day as part of annual
Girls State program

Some high school students may seem hard to impress, but Girls State participant Malia Braun discovered that sitting in the pilot’s seat of ITD’s King Air turboprop was impressive and required a “selfie.”

Braun was one of 240 high school junior girls from across Idaho selected this year to attend Girls State and learn first-hand how state and local government works. The American Legion Auxiliary sponsors the annual Girls State experience.

Braun’s trip to the Division of Aeronautics was one part of her visit to ITD Headquarters where she served as the department’s director-for-a-day.

The Highland High School junior, from Pocatello, had already earned a few elected positions during her Girls State experience – councilwoman and county coroner – before receiving her ITD appointment.

“Girls State has been an incredible experience for me,” she said.

Part of her competition effort was submitting a personal essay on the need for better bicycle facilities in her hometown. She said she believed that her essay topic might be why she got the ITD appointment.

Braun, the youngest in her family, said she hopes to pursue studies in social science or communication after graduating high school.  “I like working with people, but I’m not too keen on teaching,” she confided.

She also said that she really liked being a track and cross-country athlete, specializing in middle distance running. 

Idaho State University has been recruiting her, but she is still considering other institutions such as Utah State for her college education.

While at ITD Headquarters, Braun was given the executive tour of the Materials Lab, DMV, Aeronautics and Highway Safety.

“I did not know that so much science was used in paving roads, “ she said. “It was really cool.”

“I can tell how much people love their jobs, they have so much passion when talking about what it is they do,” she added.

Published 6-27-14