Grayson Barnard, an eighth-grader in the Center for Gifted Studies at Morgan Fitzgerald Middle School, has been invited to attend the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington D.C. on Jan. 21.
She’s thrilled to take part in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, she said.
“I feel very honored that they chose me to come and that I have the opportunity to go,” said Grayson, 13.
Grayson’s mother, Stacey, said Grayson was invited to take part in this event because of her participation in the Junior National Young Leaders Conference program in 2010.
Grayson found out she was invited last spring and the news happened to tie in perfectly with Grayson’s civics class studies at the time, her mom said.
In addition to the inauguration itself, Grayson will join outstanding middle school students from across the nation for the Middle School Presidential Inaugural Conference, a five-day program that will provide them with a deeper understanding of the history behind the electoral process and the rich traditions surrounding the Presidential Inauguration.
Middle School Inaugural Scholars will attend a viewing party and luncheon where they will watch the inaugural parade on a large viewing screen. To further commemorate the Inauguration Day, scholars will attend an exclusive Gala Inaugural Celebration at National Harbor.
The Inaugural Scholars will also have the opportunity to hear about what it’s like to grow up in the first family from former first daughters Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush. They will also hear from fellow students who have promoted change in their own schools and communities.
Besides participating in the inaugural events and festivities, scholars will have the opportunity to explore numerous historic sites and memorials in the national capital and participate in activities designed to expand their knowledge of democratic principles and the presidential election process.
The official Inauguration Day is Jan. 20. But, since that date falls on a Sunday this year, the public swearing-in ceremony for President Barack Obama will be held on Monday, Jan. 21.