It is a once in a lifetime opportunity for one high school senior in Beeville, as she was invited to be a part of history in Washington D.C.
Taylor Jones, 17, has been invited the Presidential Inaugural Leadership Summit and the Presidential Inauguration of President Barack Obama. As you can imagine, she and her mother are extremely excited and proud.
Jones said she originally thought the invitation was just another college letter. Then she kept reading, and realized she was being invited to be a part of history.
"I was like, 'Oh my gosh, I might possibly meet the president, and meet all these people that actually have gotten somewhere and know what they're talking about,'" Jones said. "So I took that as a, like, wow. Somebody actually was thinking about me, and actually wanting me to go to this thing, and I feel very great about it."
Jones said she is one of only two or three African-American students in her entire grade level at A.C. Jones High School, and that being in Washington D.C. for the first African-American president's second inauguration will have an extra special historic meaning and significance for her and her family. Her mother is extremely proud of her and her academic achievements and excellence. It is because of her stellar and standout performance that she was nominated for this honor and opportunity.
"This will be a perfect opportunity for her," said Pamela Jones, Taylor's mother. "For them to do what I can't do for her. I can say, 'Baby go. You know you're smart enough.' But for someone else to take interest in her is, let her know, 'Yes. Yeah, you are someone. You are something.'"
It is not just the inauguration that Jones has been invited to, but also a five-day summit of workshops featuring both Democrats and Republicans. In fact, the keynote speaker is actually Colin Powell.
The summit invites outstanding students from across the country and seeks to give them leadership skills, and to inspire and empower young people to reach their full potential.
The trip itself actually costs $4,000, which the Jones family does not have. She said smart kids does not equal rich parents; however, community members have started to donate and help out. A benefit account for Taylor Jones has been set up at the Navy Army Community Credit Union.
There will also be a benefit BBQ plate sale from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 4, at the Bethlehem Baptist Church in Beeville.