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Sierra High teens heading to DC for inauguration

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POSTED December 28, 2012 1:32 a.m.

A funny thing happened when Sierra High Associated Student Body Secretary Riley Cardoza started raising money with her fellow leadership students to attend the inauguration in Washington, D.C.

She took an interest in the election.

Never a political person before, Cardoza found herself paying attention to what happened during the debates; who was taking the lead in the polls; which direction the nation was leaning as the November election – one of the closest Presidential elections on record – as voters went to the polls.

And on Jan. 21, she and 12 other members of Sierra High’s leadership class will be standing on the Capital Mall when Barrack Obama raises his right hand and takes the oath of office for his second term as President of the United States – only the 57th time that the ceremony has been held since George Washington first assumed the post in 1789.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing everything – it’ll be a once-in-a-lifetime experience and a chance to be a part of history,” Cardoza said. “To go back and see the inauguration and then Gettysburg and all of the sites that I’ve learned about since 7th and 8th grade.

“I might not ever get the chance to go back and do that again, so when I talked to my parents about it we jumped on the chance when it came up.”

For the last year Cardoza has been working with her classmates to raise money and help offset the cost of the trip. The travel agency – which initially approached Dean of Activities Anthony Chapman and asked if they’d be interested in participating – required that a set number of students attend, and after car washes, a pancake breakfast, discount book sales and candle catalogs they were able to solidify their lineup by the middle of the summer and make the necessary payments by Nov. 1.

In other words – they’ll be a party to history.

“I love being in leadership because it has allowed me to experience a lot of things that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise,” she said. “I like being in the background and making things happen, and I like watching the other kids enjoy the activities and events that we put on for them.

“This is one of those things that I’ll remember for the rest of my life. This got me paying attention to the election – it’s all really interesting when you figure out how everything works. I can’t wait to actually be there.”

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