Four Free State High students are heading to Washington, D.C., to see the 44th president get sworn in on Jan. 20.
Sophomore Jaclyn McCullough, juniors Sam Walter and Alek Joyce and senior Paige Trimble are all alumni of National Youth Leadership Conferences, which prompted their invites to the Presidential Youth Inaugural Conferences from Jan. 17 to Jan. 21.
“I was happy even before the election because it was still in the air between Obama and McCain,” said Joyce. “I’ve been gung-ho about this ever since.”
Walter, who says his father got him interested in politics, said he tried to keep his enthusiasm in check. “With the election results still being up in the air ... I wasn’t about to get excited too quick,” he said.
Trimble said she wasn’t sure if she would be accepted. Even if students signed up for the PYIC, that didn’t guarantee them a spot. But she got it. “It’s going to be one of the most historical moments ever and it’s just going to be really fun,” she said.
But it’s not necessarily about the political side of things that makes students want to go.
“I probably don’t know anything about (politics),” said McCullough. “I just think it’s going to a historic event and a good thing to witness.”
The students will hear speakers like Al Gore, Colin Powell and Desmond Tutu. They will also be attending the Black Tie Gala Inaugural Ball.