- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 1, 2003

A District high school senior had a chance to dash around town with Secretary of State Colin L. Powell yesterday during the sixth annual National Job Shadow Day at the State Department.
Constance Banks, a senior at Booker T. Washington High School, accompanied Mr. Powell as he attended a swearing-in ceremony for Ellen R. Sauerbrey, an ambassador to the United Nations, and addressed the National Conference of the World Affairs Council of America at the Marriott Hotel.
She went with him back to the State Department, where the secretary addressed hundreds of public school students from the District, Maryland and Virginia who had the rare chance to hobnob with Foreign Service officers and other dignitaries, and learn about foreign countries.
"I thought it would just be a tour. I was excited to come to the State Department, but it's far more than I had hoped for" said Alessandra Carozza, a senior at the School Without Walls in Northwest.
Alessandra, 17, spent her day with Walter H. Kansteiner III, the assistant secretary of State for Africa, who advises Mr. Powell and guides operation of the U.S. diplomatic establishment in the countries of sub-Saharan Africa.
The annual program is organized by America's Promise, Junior Achievement, the Department of Labor and the Department of Education. It's designed to give students in middle school and high school an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the workplace by shadowing employees at all levels of various professions. Twenty-seven area public middle and high schools participated in the Job Shadow Day program at the State Department.
Although Mr. Powell had to rush off, he took time to field questions from his young audience in the Loy Henderson Conference Room on the lower level of the State Department. He emphasized the importance of hard work in achieving goals and developing a good work ethic.
"I've got speeches to read over. I don't have to explain why I didn't do my homework to my teacher. I've got to explain it to President Bush. Hard work requires discipline, and you are at a stage in your lives where you must develop discipline," he said. "Right choices will take you to a bright future; wrong choices will take you no where.
"You've seen professionals. You've seen what it takes to be successful. They're constantly studying, reading and talking on the phone. Connie has been with me for two speeches. This is my third speech today. What each of you should see is that hard work never ends. Homework never ends," Mr. Powell said.
Alessandra, who lives in Northwest, was privy to a conference call with Mr. Kansteiner's counterpart in France while the two men discussed an ongoing crisis in Ivory Coast. She was right there as language for a U.N. Resolution on Ivory Coast was crafted. And she got to sit in on a meeting between Mr. Kansteiner and Constance Berry Newman, the U.S. Agency for International Development administrator for Africa. Mrs. Newman is preparing to meet with the G-8 the group of eight industrial nations next week in Paris.
Alessandra said her interest in foreign affairs piqued when she started taking courses at George Washington University.
She had come prepared for the day with a list of questions concerning the foreign-service test and Mr. Bush's remarks about Africa and the AIDS epidemic during his State of the Union address Tuesday.
She left Mr. Kansteiner's office two hours later with a greater appreciation for tact and the art of diplomacy.
"I didn't know that it would take nine phone calls to decide on what word to use," she said with a smile.

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