MEDIA RELEASE: WAVES First Instagram Contest Winner Meets Virtually with Senator Angus King  

After an all-nighter of Senate votes last Thursday evening through 5:30am Friday, and a full day of Senate work thereafter, Maine’s Senator Angus King made sure to meet with Kalli Sternberg of Machias, a high school senior at Washington Academy in East Machias. Kalli was the winner of an Instagram photo contest hosted by the Maine Department OEducation’s new initiative WAVES (Wilderness Activities and Virtual Engagement for Students), which granted her the opportunity to meet with Senator King. 

Kalli’s winning photo, shared under the contest invitation to “post a picture that gives you a sense of peace and gratitude,” was taken on the cliffs of the Bold Coast trail in Cutler, overlooking the crashing waves and vast ocean before her. Senator King saw Kalli’s picture and reminisced about his visits to the area, including a recent RV trip with his wife to Cobscook Bay State Park, another breathtaking site in Washington County. 

While Kalli’s interview was scheduled for fifteen minutes, Kalli and Senator King’s conversation lasted for almost an hour, during which Senator King answered Kalli’s questions about his path to the Senate, his decision to enter politics, his advice for a young person embarking into adulthood, and how to have constructive conversations with people holding different beliefs and coming from varying perspectives. Senator King shared the importance of what he called “eloquent listening,” of seizing opportunities and engaging in experiential learning in all facets of life. Senator King also asked Kalli about her plans, interests, and experience as a high school student living and learning through COVID. 

Following the conversation with Senator King, Kalli commented that “It was wonderful to talk with Senator King and hear about his journey. I also appreciated his interest in my life and experiences. The lessons I gained from his advice, generosity and genuine curiosity will stay with me. Thank you, Senator!” 

WAVES is continuing its series of Instagram challenges, providing a range of opportunities for teens to connect with each other, the outdoors, and educators and leaders from throughout the state. Follow WAVES Project Director on Instagram (mainewavesdirector) for the latest updates and challenges.