After completing the exam, the top 10 students were selected and moved on to the interview round. The interview was the most nerve-wrecking part of the application process, Chapman said. A panel of five judges, including Kelly Curtright, OSDE director of social studies education in the Office of Instruction, asked Chapman questions such as, “What are the three biggest threats to world peace?”
“They wanted you to think on your feet and support your answer, no matter what that was,” he said. “I just went in and gave it my best. ... We were really happy and pleasantly surprised when I got it. I know it made my mom proud to see me excel in something that’s her expertise.”
Chapman is the treasurer of the Young Democrats Club and the president of the Socialist Youth Club at Norman North. After high school graduation, he hopes to double major in civil engineering and sports management at the University of Oklahoma.
He said he became involved in the Young Democrats Club because he wants to encourage people his age to become involved in government.
“Democrat or Republican, it doesn’t matter. We try to discuss what’s going on and stay informed,” he said.
The Socialist Youth Club educates students about what socialism really is because sometimes it gets lumped together with totalitarianism and communism, Chapman said.
“We talk about things like social security and health care,” he said.
Although his mom’s job position as social studies curriculum coordinator for Putnam City Schools may have influenced his interest in politics and history, Chapman said satirical shows about the news are what sparked his passion.
“Doing homework late at night, I’d flip on the ‘Colbert Report.’ After a while, I realized through all the satire, they were really giving the news,” he said. “My interest has also been fueled lately since I’ll be able to vote in the next presidential election.”