What better way to celebrate teen leadership than by meeting the leader of our country? On Tuesday May 17th, the 2015-16 Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Youth of the Year had the once in a lifetime opportunity to meet President Barack Obama! Keeping up with the annual #YOY tradition, our National Youth of the Year Whitney traveled to DC with our regional YOYs Alora (MW YOY), Brooke (NE YOY), Courtney (SW YOY), Emily (PAC YOY) and RianSimone (National Miltiary YOY) for their first visit to the Oval Office.
Read on for some of their favorite moments, trip highlights and more!
- We kicked off the trip and our first night with dinner to celebrate Emily’s birthday! It was great to catch up after National Conference and celebrate our very own Emily before spending the day with POTUS!
- For day two, the most exciting day of our lives to date (!!!), we started with a team breakfast to go over our questions and calm our nerves before meeting with President Obama.
- We then had the opportunity to go to lunch at our favorite Capitol Grille with BGCA’s President Jim Clark and Myron Gray, Board Chair Elect!
- And then…it was time. We trekked through the rain (wouldn’t let that stop us!) and made our way to the front gate. The anticipation was real. We had our questions ready and we couldn’t believe in just a few short moments we were going to meet President Barack Obama!
- My favorite moment of the visit was at the very beginning. We were lined up in front of President Barack Obama’s office door. They told us that when the President was ready for us, he would open his door and invite us in. The 6 of us were staring at the door for about 10 minutes, just waiting for him to open up. Longest 10 minutes in history. The suspense was real. Finally, the President opened the door with the biggest smile on his face and invited us in. This moment was priceless. It was the moment that we all had been waiting for. It was the greatest! – RianSimone
- President Obama told us to always live with passion. Don’t worry about your status or where you are. Do it for what you want to do. – Alora
- A highlight for me was simply having the honor to meet and shake hands with the President of the United States! Meeting his cute dogs Bo and Sunny was a close second!
- My highlight was President Obama opening the door to greet us into his office. It was symbolic to me because it gave us a sense of “arrival”. I had made it somewhere not many people will ever get the chance to experience. The six of us had been waiting so long to get to that moment that when he opened the door I didn’t hold my breath but I finally released it.
What great opportunities these young people had that day in addition to what lies ahead for these outstanding young people is truly an example of how through Boys & Girls Clubs, GREAT FUTURES START HERE!