Students making trip for inauguration

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ Staff Writer

Had she been eligible to vote last November, Clovis High School senior Morgan Duval says she would have voted for Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

Still, she is excited about her trip this week to the nation’s capital to be among the millions to witness Barack Obama’s historic inauguration ceremony.

“I’m really excited because I’m going to be witnessing history and it’s a chance of a lifetime,” she said.

On Jan. 20, Obama will be the first black man sworn in as president.

Duval and 10 other Clovis High School students are traveling Friday to Washington, D.C. for the inauguration as part of the Close Up Program, according to Clovis High Social Studies teacher Darren Kelley, who is also the program sponsor.

Throughout the year students travel to Washington D.C. and learn about government through the program, Kelley said.

“It’s a great program, and hopefully we’ll have fun and learn something when we’re there,” he said.

Each student raised $2,500 for the week-long trip, he said.

Clovis High senior Brittany Holt is looking forward to witness history first hand.

“This is something that we’re going to be able to be there and be a part of, and I just thought that was really cool,” she said . “Whether or not Obama did get to be president, it’s a part of history that a few of us are going to be able to be a part of.”

She said she passed on the chance to vote last November because she didn’t have enough information on either candidate.

“I don’t feel like I’m old enough to really get into politics like that yet,” she said. “In the future I plan on voting, when I’m older and … I know more about what’s going on.”

Aside from witnessing history, Rebecca Garcia said she was excited to meet people during the trip.

“The most exciting thing I’m looking forward to about this trip would probably be getting to see all the different celebrities that are going to be there this next week and meeting all the different students from all across the nation,” said the Clovis High School senior.

The Curry County Democrats vice-chairwoman, Elaine Howell, said her party is not organizing a trip to the ceremony because of transportation and lodging costs.

The same goes for the Roosevelt County Democratic Party, according to Secretary Linda Uttaro.

D.C. officials expect more than 1-2 million spectators at the event.