GAINESVILLE — Jan. 20, 50 youth from the Florida 4-H youth development program will attend the presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C., to learn more about U.S. democracy and civic engagement.
“4-H believes in learning by doing, and this is an opportunity for our young people to be really engaged in our political process at the highest level,” said Chris Decubellis, associate state program leader for Florida 4-H youth development.
Florida 4-H members will attend the inauguration as part of the Citizenship Washington Focus program, a national program held in Washington, D.C., and attended by 4-H members from across the country ages 14 to 19. 4-H members confirmed their attendance for the inauguration nine months prior to the Nov. 2016 election.
Florida 4-H members will arrive in the capital on Jan. 17 and stay through Jan. 20.
“I am excited for the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. and witness such a monumental event in history,” said Gabi Sullivan, an attendee from Marion County and president of the Florida 4-H State Council. “Attending the inauguration is a once in a lifetime event for me, and I believe the experience will open my mind to many new ideas and people.”
Attendees hail from 15 Florida counties: Bradford, Citrus, Collier, Duval, Escambia, Hernando, Highlands, Lake, Liberty, Marion, Osceola, Pasco, Polk, Santa Rosa, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, Suwannee, Union and Volusia.
In addition to attending the inauguration, attendees will participate in workshops and speaking sessions where they will learn about the history of the presidency, the election process and the press in the United States. They will also tour several national monuments and the Smithsonian Museums.
“Our political process fascinates me, so I am excited to see it in action and observe all that happens during the week, specifically the day of the inauguration,” said Michelle Tinker, and attendee from Escambia County and reporter for the Florida 4-H State Council.
“I am fulfilling a life-long wish to visit Washington, D.C., and have the incredible privilege of participating in an important historical event in our country,” Tinker said. “I also look forward to meeting other civic-minded youth from across the nation.”