Through a program with the Allegheny County Living Project, Andrea Bennett, 19, of Wilkinsburg, received a special invitation to attend the 44th presidential inauguration Tuesday in Washington, D.C.
The WISE program (Ward Independent Skills Enhancement) invited 6 students who were old enough and exercised their right to vote, are in an educational program, are employed, and who show life skills appropriate to be interested in a presidential inauguration.
Bennett is a sophomore pursuing political science at Penn State Greater Allegheny and is thrilled to attend the event.
?I?m so excited,? she said. ?I hope to see the White House, all that I can of the D.C. area, and I hope to shake Barack Obama?s hand.?
The group will leave Sunday and return Wednesday. Their trip will include highlights such as the Martin Luther King Jr. parade in Baltimore and the African American History museum in Hagerstown, Md.
Bennett said this was her first opportunity to vote.
?I know it?s a small voice,? she said. ?But I know altogether it could be a big voice. I was a big motivator to all of my friends. I was offering rides to people on campus to get them to voting booths?I didn?t want anyone to have an excuse not to vote.?
Bennett was in her dorm room when the announcement was made that Barack Obama was going to win. Her roommate and she cried out in excitement and she said that it took a while for it to sink in.
?Our vote, voice, and opinions mattered,? she said.