Local kids in DC for historic event

January 20, 2009 5:03:18 AM PST
An estimated two-million people are expected to crowd into the National Mall today and thousands are from right here in Houston, including a group of 7th and 8th graders from KIPP 3-D Academy.A dozen students from the local school are on a bus headed to the nation's capital. They left Houston Sunday and flew into Philadelphia.

The students had to do a lot in order to go on the trip. First they had to get approval from their teachers. Then they had to write a report about why they wanted to go. They also had to write an essay about the constitutionality of the inauguration. Finally, they had to give up two annual school trips which would have taken them to the east and west coasts on a tour of college campuses.

KIPP 3-D Academy paid for a portion of the trip, but the 7th and 8th grade students also had to pay as well. And they all say being in DC today is worth more than anything they had to give up in order to go.

"Not only do you get to hear the words of the president, but you get to see his action. You get the experience the events personally and get the feel this is all about and why everybody is so excited and just feel proud for your country and your heritage," said student Natalie Torez.

"The main thing that inspired me to take the trip was it was a minority, like my teammate said," said student Maria Montero. "I would consider myself a minority because I am Hispanic and it was a huge opportunity as people to look up to him. It's like we can make other changes in the world or in the United States."

The trip has been in the works since Mr. Obama accepted the nomination from the Democratic Party. And you can bet these kids will have a number of stories to share with their classmates when they return Wednesday.

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