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Three Woodbury High School students to attend Obama inauguration

Kiera Eaton and Ben Gotz, Woodbury High School students, will attend Tuesday's inauguration of President Barack Obama, as well as an inaugual ball. Joining them for the trip to Washington, D.C. is WHS classmate Heather Mohr. Staff photo by Amber Kispert

For three Woodbury High School students the 2008 election is going to be extra memorable -- despite the fact that they didn't have the opportunity to vote -- because they will be attending the 2009 Inauguration and an inaugural ball for President Barack Obama on Jan. 20.

Sophomore Kiera Eaton, freshman Ben Gotz and junior Heather Mohr will be in Washington, D.C. to be part of the Presidential Youth Inaugural Conference as members of the National Youth Leadership Forum.

"I'm hoping to come away from this with a bit more understanding of politics. I don't know the first thing about it," Eaton said. "That way, I can become a more educated voter."

In addition to the swearing-in and the ball, all participants in the conference will also have the opportunity to tour historic sites and monuments in the nation's capitol, as well as to interact with some major political figures during their conferences with speeches.

"I'm looking forward to seeing a lot of the huge political figures," Eaton said. "Even though a lot of them I can't pronounce their names."

Eaton and Gotz said they are both looking forward to the swearing in, but Eaton said the ball is going to be the most memorable experience for her.

"A. I like my dress, B. I like dancing and, C. it sounds like a lot of fun," she said. "There's going to be a lot of important people there so I'll get to see a lot of really cool people."

Gotz said the fact they get to witness the swearing in of the nation's first black president is something that can't be taken lightly.

"I thought it would be cool to be there when the first black president is inaugurated," he said. ", I think he'll do a good job hopefully lead us in the right direction for the next four years."

Mohr could not be reached for comment.

Many of the students friends and families are extremely jealous of the students having this opportunity to witness such a historic inauguration, even if they didn't have the opportunity to vote.

"I support the man who holds the office whether I voted for him or not," Eaton said. "It really doesn't matter."

Eaton and Gotz both agreed that they have full confidence is President Obama leading the country in the right direction.

"I think the nation actually does need a change and, hopefully, President Obama will bring that change," Eaton said. "It's a historic thing to witness the first black president and I'm optimistic about him.

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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