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  • OBHS Student Invited to Attend the Inauguration

     

    Oyster Bay High School 9th grader Kathryn Moore is a participant in the Envision Program.

     

    In 1985, a Connecticut educator saw an opportunity to make the world her classroom.  With the help of a congressional staff member, she arranged a trip for her students to visit the nation’s capital to attend the second Presidential Inauguration of Ronald Reagan. 

     

    The kids embraced Washington, DC—they met congressmen, saw the monuments, and experienced democracy in action.  The excursion was deemed a huge success, but the teacher and the staffer soon realized that this was no ordinary field trip; the students not only discovered a new deeper relationship with the world around them, but also began to realize the power of their potential.

     

    For decades, Envision has been a home for students with high academic achievement and a desire to build a focused plan for their future.  Many of the students are nominated by teachers; others are selected via a national student talent identification program; and still others are selected by an Admissions Board based on their GPA, test scores, and passion for a specific area of career or leadership interest. 

     

    Acceptance into an Envision Program will be based on a combination of: Academic Achievement: 3.0 GPA or greater, Leadership Potential: demonstrated by extracurricular activities, and Career Aspirations: indicated by 2 short essays about future interests.

     

    The Envision experience has been designed to: engage students through interactive and multi-sensory experiences, equip students for success in college, career, and life in the global 21st century, and empower students to take responsibility for their future and make an impact  (re-printed from the Envision website: www.envisionexperience.com).

     

    When Kathryn Moore was a student at the James H. Vernon School, she was recognized as candidate for the Envision Program.  After being accepted Kathryn spent a week in Washington DC.  A couple of years later the Envision Program took her to Boston.  Last week, as part of the Envision Program, Kathryn was invited to attend the Inauguration in Washington DC. 

     

    The Envision Program brought students in three groups: middle school, high school and collegiate, totaling about two thousand members.

     

    The Envision group was allowed to stand in the 4th column on the Mall.  There were speakers and monitor screens nearby to see and hear everything.  The students had to stand on tiptoes to be able to see the Capitol Building and podium.  The day started at 4:30 in the morning.  The busses dropped them off at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History at 6:45 am where they explored until they could enter the National Mall at 10 am.  The weather was drizzling for most of the morning.  It wasn’t until they were leaving that the rain picked up.

     

    The next day, the Envision students got to hear former Secretary of State, General Colin Powell, Olympian Gold Medalist Soccer Star Abby Wombach and filmmaker Spike Lee speak to them. 

     

    Kathryn felt that everything went very smoothly and the whole experience was really good.

     

    The Envision people sent daily e-mails to the parents of the students.  What follows are excerpts from those e-mails.

     

    Day 1

     

    Greetings from Washington, DC!

     

    The 2017 Presidential Inauguration Leadership Summit kicks off today, and we’re thrilled to have Kathryn with us.  The Summit will include five extraordinary days filled with memorable moments and personal growth.

     

    In addition to attending the 58th Presidential Inauguration on the National Mall, Kathryn will be treated to an unparalleled slate of inspiring speakers and have the opportunity to work with new friends from around the world to tackle the challenges facing the new administration and her generation.

     

    Of course, a picture’s worth a thousand words.  Visit our Summit Facebook Album to see photos of the scholars in action. We’ll post new pictures throughout the Summit.

     

    Day 2

     

    What an amazing and inspirational day we had!

     

    Last night, we kicked off Delegations for Change, where scholars began collaborating to create solutions to some of the future challenges facing their generation.  During their first Delegations for Change Group meeting, Kathryn and her fellow Summit Scholars chose their delegation teams, learned more about their issue, and came up with a team identity.  As members of A Smarter Planet delegation, Kathryn’s team will work to construct a way to ensure quality and affordable education is available for all mankind.

     

    After a networking mixer and dinner, Kathryn’s delegation team met again to dive deeper into some of the challenges facing their Impact Issue.  They created a problem statement that identifies the population impacted, describes the specific challenge that their team will address, outlines a limited set of needs to fulfill, and includes any insights known or discovered.

     

    Today got started with the Summit Speaker sessions kicked off with a dynamic Point/Counterpoint Panel that featured two former Crossfire hosts, CNN commentator Paul Begala and veteran political journalist Tucker Carlson.

     

    During the lunch break, Kathryn got a chance to meet some industry experts and envision her future career opportunities at our Change Agent Career Fair.

     

    After lunch and the Career Fair, all of the Summit scholars were in the arena for the keynote speaker.  Malala Yousafzai shared her story and experiences with our scholars via satellite, and her father, Ziauddin, was with us in person to facilitate the discussion and inspire our students.  In addition to the Yousafzai family, Kathryn also heard from a Candidate Panel, featuring former presidential candidates Carly Fiorina and Governor Martin O’Malley.

     

    Following dinner, Kathryn will end Day Two with a Delegation meeting, where her team will draft the Issue Statement that they will pitch and present later in the week, and a review of the logistics for tomorrow’s trip to the Presidential Inauguration.

     

    Day 3

     

    Today was one for the history books.  We are certain that Kathryn will remember this day forever, as she and her fellow scholars witnessed, firsthand from the National Mall, the peaceful transfer of power when Donald J. Trump was sworn-in as the 45th President of the United States of America.

     

    Today’s 4:30am start time definitely came early; however, the scholars’ adrenaline powered them through the long day.  After a quick breakfast, we boarded the bus and rode to the designated drop-off location just south of the National Mall.  A brisk walk later, we arrived at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, where the scholars explored the exhibits and warmed up until it was time to proceed out onto the National Mall for the Inauguration Ceremony.

     

    Following that extraordinary experience, Kathryn and her fellow scholars returned to their hotel, where they had a little time to change clothes and grab some warm snacks before meeting up with their Delegations to finalize their presentations.

     

    After dinner tonight, Kathryn and her Delegation will have the opportunity to present their Issue Statements during the Preliminary Round of the Summit Showcase.

     

    Day 4

     

    The Presidential Inauguration might be over, but the excitement of the 2017 Presidential Inauguration Leadership Summit continues.  Today’s theme was “Voices of Inspiration,” and Kathryn and her fellow Summit Scholars were treated to some truly inspirational speakers.

     

    After breakfast, we boarded the bus to EagleBank Arena, where General Colin Powell delivered a keynote address that nobody in the room will ever forget.  Spike Lee took the stage next and inspired the room with an empowering message about social reform, followed by Abby Wambach, whose incredible story of perseverance and winning despite the odds, scored high with our scholars.

     

    Back at the hotel, we held the final round of the Summit Showcase and the Scholars had the chance to vote for their favorite presentation from each of the Impact Topics.  The finalists for each location were announced, and then Kathryn and her delegation team met up to reflect on what they learned.

     

    After dinner, we’ll get ready to celebrate at the Envision Inaugural Gala at the Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy Center, where Kathryn will enjoy an evening of music, dancing, IMAX movies, games, and more with all of the new friends that she has made, and the Grand Prize winners from the Summit Showcase will be announced.

     

    Day 5

     

    We can hardly believe the 2017 Presidential Inauguration Leadership Summit has come to an end.  We know the experiences of these past few days – the inspirational speakers, the dynamic workshops, the field trips and the Inauguration itself – are something that Kathryn will remember forever, and they will make a positive impact as she continues on her path to becoming a next generation leader.

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