Academic achievements lead Tyler youth to presidential inauguration

By Courtney Lane - bio - email

Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

We're hearing from more and more East Texans who are heading to Washington DC to witness the historic inauguration of Barack Obama. One Tyler teenager has been invited to attend, based on his academic achievements.

He is packing for the trip of a lifetime.

"It's an honor, I mean just to go to an inauguration and this one, just see history happen," said the sixteen year-old.

Taylor Blackburn will be among more than a million Americans celebrating the swearing in of our country's first black president. The whole thing is still a little daunting for this East Texas teen.

"I'm a little nervous cause there's going to be a lot of people there," said Taylor. "They're not having any mass transit so I don't know if I've really taken the whole big picture of how big and monumental this is."

It is not just the inauguration he's excited to see. Blackburn was invited to attend a week-long Presidential Youth Inauguration Conference.

"We're doing a lot of cool things," he explained. "We're debating over some of the current events like the bailout and the stock market crisis. We're meeting Colin Powell and having the Archbishop of South Africa talk to us."

Not to mention Al Gore and journalist Lisa Ling, who used to be on the View. Plus, the kids will attend a gala inaugural ball. Blackburn's mom wishes she could tag along but is excited about how this will impact her son's life.

"Just the adventure of getting to experience something this monumental. Because regardless of your politics it's such a fabulous, exciting time," said Taylor's mom, Michelle Blackburn.

Blackburn says it'll all sink-in a little more when he's on that plane tomorrow to witness history in the making.

Blackburn says he's even excited about the colder weather. He says when he gets back, he'll visit with us again and talk about witnessing history.