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Whittier students to attend inauguration

January 14, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
In Whittier, a group of students, parents and teachers is counting down to a very exciting trip. They're about to witness history in the making as they set out to attend the presidential inauguration.More than 50 students, teachers, faculty and parents from La Serna High School in Whittier are going to the nation's capital for the historic swearing in of the nation's first African-American president, Barack Obama.

"It means a lot to me and I know I'm very privileged to be going on this trip," said student Alyssa Motah.

"Just seeing the first African-American president ever to be elected is just one of the most amazing things," said student Kyle Bisogno.

The campaign to see history started more than a year ago at La Serna High. School. Officials say they knew during the presidential campaign whoever got elected -- whether it was Hilary Clinton, Barack Obama, or John McCain with his presidential running mate Sarah Palin -- that the election would be historic. They were right.

"We all worked hard to get there, and we're excited," said teacher Cecilia Juarez. "We just can't wait to be there."

Each student had to come up with $2,000 apiece for the trip. Luckily they started early enough to lock in a hotel and a flight to see history.

"My family pulled together, and very generous from everyone in my family," said Kyle Bisogno.

"I've never been out of California, never been out of the country, different state and this is going to be a really, really good experience that I'm never going to forget," said student Natalie Amloain.

"I don't think I'm too much of an emotional-type person, but I'm sure I'd cry at the end of the inauguration," said teacher Shannon Thompson. "I can see it happening right now."

Above the chalkboard in the classroom, there are the pictures of all of the presidents, all the way up to President George W. Bush, the 43rd president of this country. Students and teachers had something to say about that in light of the historic inauguration taking place next week.

"I see a trend of the past, and in the future I think we are going to be mixing things up and changing things for our country," said Ms. Thompson.


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