07.10.18

Senator Peters & Make-A-Wish Partner to Grant 18-Year-Old Michigan Boy’s Wish to be a U.S. Senator for a Day

Thomas Stephenson of Greenville, Michigan Joined Peters to Experience a Day in the U.S. Senate

WASHINGTON, DC –U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) partnered with Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic to grant a Michigan boy’s wish to be a U.S. Senator for a day. Eighteen-year-old Thomas Stephenson, who was diagnosed with a congenital cardiac condition, joined Peters for a day of constituent meetings, briefings, media interviews, a floor speech and a behind-the-scenes tour of the Capitol.

“It’s exciting to see young people like Tom who are interested in public service and want to learn more about our democratic process,” said Senator Peters. “I was honored to work with Make-A-Wish to give Tom a firsthand look at how the Senate works as he fulfilled his wish to be a Senator for a day. We need more young people like Tom to be engaged in our democracy, and I hope his experience today will help inspire others to get involved.”

“It was a dream come true to spend the day serving as a U.S. Senator,” said Senator For A Day Stephenson. “My generation faces a number of economic challenges, and I was thrilled to be able to discuss issues like health care and college affordability with Senators and media throughout the day. This was a once in a lifetime experience, and I’m grateful to Make-A-Wish and Senator Peters for making this day possible.”

U.S. Senator For A Day Stephenson began his day on Capitol Hill by meeting with Michigan constituents during Coffee with Gary, a weekly constituent meeting hosted in Peters’ Washington, DC office when the Senate is in session. Stephenson, who is passionate about health care and higher education issues, joined Peters for a discussion on college affordability with representatives from Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU), and the Association of American Universities (AAU).

Later in the day, Peters and Stephenson conducted interviews with Michigan and national media to discuss Stephenson’s Make-A-Wish experience and delivered a speech from the Senate floor. Stephenson and his family also took a behind-the-scenes tour of the U.S. Capitol led by Betty K. Koed, the Senate Historian.

Stephenson first discovered his passion for politics when he was eight years old and his grandmother took him to Washington, DC to meet with legislators from Michigan.

Make-A-Wish creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Wish kids face any number of critical illnesses such as cancer, pediatric AIDS, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Duchene’s muscular dystrophy, kidney and heart disease.