KELLY FLAHERTY, 19, daughter of Patrick and...

KELLY FLAHERTY, 19, daughter of Patrick and Julie Flaherty of Carroll Street in Westminster.

School: sophomore at Carroll Community College. Graduated in


1992 from the McDonogh School in Owings Mills.

Honored for: Winning first place in the persuasion category of the Bloomsburg (Pa.) State College annual "Through the Looking Glass" novice speech tournament.


Ms. Flaherty gave a nine-minute speech about how a federal policy of drug needle exchange programs could slow the spread of AIDS.

Drug users are among the fastest growing group of victims of acquired immune deficiency syndrome, passed by sharing needles and unprotected sex, she said.

"You can't just go and buy syringes," Ms. Flaherty said. "If clean syringes are available, the need for sharing will no longer exist. I did have statistics and results from New Haven, Conn. Their results look very promising."

Goals: To be a member of Congress some day, after graduating and gaining experience through congressional internships, working as a page and in local and state government.

Comments:"It's really important for me to make a difference," said Ms. Flaherty, a registered Democrat. "The legislature is somewhere I could do something."