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Long Beach students to attend inauguration

January 13, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
It's a dream come true for a group of high school students from Long Beach. They worked hard for it and now they're going to the presidential inauguration, and they couldn't be more excited. The journey for next week's inauguration for history teacher Brady Garrett and these Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo High School students began a year ago. The eight students had to raise $2,000 each to make the trip.

"This is a big experience for everybody, I mean, this is the first African-American president and I'm pretty sure everybody will benefit from it," said student Francis Mascarina. "I mean, they're going to witness history in the making."

"Pretty much mind-blowing 'cause you don't know any other students that will kind of experience this," said student Lenard Hannigan.

"The inauguration," said student Adam lane when asked what he was most looking forward to. "To be able to see him sitting there giving his speech and sworn in. It's exciting."

And when Senator Barack Obama became the President-elect, the trip became a chance to witness history.

"I was like, 'Dad, who's winning, who's winning?'" said student Mitzi Cuevas. "He's like, 'Just go work, just go work.' And then when they actually announced it, I was like, 'Oh my gosh, I'm going to go see Obama. Yay!'"

"I'm really excited because I'm part of the YMCA Youth Institute so they're giving us a whole bunch of cameras to record and everything and take pictures," said student Crystal McCloud.

"The day of the inauguration is going to be absolutely insane," said teacher Brady Garrett. "I don't think any of us in this room understand how crazy it will be, but it's going to be a pretty exciting thing."

"Given that I'm not that tall and people are going to be excited and standing, well, I'm just really hoping that I can see something," said student Victoria Acebedo. "You know, I can see most of the stage or something, probably stand in my chair if I have to."

The students also have to realize this trip isn't just for them

"No, my dad didn't think at all that a black man would actually becoming president," said student Katrina McCloud. "The fact that he ran was amazing for him and for all those that are old, they never thought this would happen. And I'm excited to represent my dad 'cause he can't believe it and neither can I."


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