Frenship High School sophomore attends Obama inauguration

A Frenship High School sophomore was able to attend the inauguration of President Barack Obama in January when she went to Washington D.C. to attend the Presidential Youth Inaugural Conference.

Melanie Braune was one of 7,000 high school students who attended the conference as members of the Congressional Yough Leadership Council.

While in Washington, she watched the inaugural parade and attended the Black Tie Gala Inaugural Ball.

Melanie Braune poses in the Frenship High School library.

Melanie Braune poses in the Frenship High School library.

“It was a very historical thing, and we were very lucky to be able to experience it,” said Braune. “I’ve never experienced anything like that.”

Not only did she witness the inaugural events, she also heard well-known speakers such as Desmond Tutu, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and Lisa Ling.

“They were really good. I was really impressed with them. I thought I would be really bored, but it was really fun. I learned a lot of valuable things,” said Braune. One thing she said all the speakers stressed was the importance of doing your best no matter what people say, she said.

“Take life seriously, but not too seriously,” said Braune of another lesson she learned from the speakers.

She also had the opportunity to explore historic sites and monuments and to participate in roundtable discussions, debates and other activities to expand her knowledge of democratic principles and the election process.

At the end of the trip, Braune said the experience taught her that “you can set your goals as high as you want them to be.”

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