An estimated 700,000 are anticipated to flock to Washington D.C. on Jan. 21 to witness President Barack Obama swear in to his second term. Stanton Middle School eight grader Phil Kaderle will be one of the many faces in the crowd, but will be getting an experience that most inaugural witnesses will not: A five-day stay that includes meeting political figures from both sides of the aisle, journalists and educational programming.
"I'm just excited to go to D.C.," Kaderle said, adding that he's never visited a major city, nor is very interested in government, but hopes to have time to do some sight seeing.
Kaderle's trip is possible through the Presidential Inaugural Conference, which is taking about 1,900 students from middle school through college to the event.
The five-day conferences will feature keynote addresses from leading political figures, including former Florida Governor, Jeb Bush, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Jenna Bush Hager, and Barbara Bush and interactive sessions with James Carville and Mary Matalin, in addition to collaborative activities with political experts, historians and analysts from both sides of the aisle and private gala celebratory events. Inauguration Day, when the President and Vice President each take the oath of office and the President gives his inaugural address, will include access to the National Mall, special activities, learning events, and celebrations.
"It should be educational and fun," Phil's mother Cindy Kaderle said, adding that she was very proud of her son. "He's very excited for it."
The event culminates with a ball to celebrate the trip and the occasion, which Cindy Kaderle hopes might include a visit from Obama himself, since his daughters are Phil's age.
Kaderle said he found his way into the program, thanks to his fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Miller Brown, who nominated him to participate in the National Leadership program in Cleveland, which led the way to the Presidential Inaugural Conference.
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