DECATUR — After seeing President Barack Obama sworn in for his second term last month, seventh-grader Dae Reionna Jarrett’s ambition is to be a part of a Washington, D.C., inauguration.

The 12-year-old Stephen Decatur Middle School student reported on her memorable experience at a Presidents Day Rotary Club meeting at the Decatur Club.

Accompanied by her mother, Jakandria Currie, and Rotary member and Stephen Decatur Principal Howard Edwards, Dae Reionna reported on the ceremonies, security, committees, addresses, location, dates, tickets and the president’s accomplishments.

According to Dae Reionna, the highlight of the event for her was the parade.

“We watched it from the Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue. The security was strict. Downtown Washington was shut down. The tickets were about $70 or more.”

She explained the Sunday exception: “If the Inauguration Day is on Sunday, it is changed to Monday. Did you know that this happened to six presidential inaugurations?”

And what does she think about President Obama?

“There are three reasons why I think of him as a leader: 1. Announced unequivocal end to torture, ordered the closing of Guantanamo and closing of secret prisons. 2. Improved relations with Iran. 3. Improved U.S. policy on climate change.”

When Dae Reionna was in sixth grade at Oak Grove School last year, her teacher, Sarah Bone, recommended that she attend a junior leadership conference in the summer in Washington. Thanks to that conference, the 12-year-old was nominated to go back for the inaugural festivities. 

“She’s a good student — a good girl,” Edwards praised.

The Rotary Club donated part of the expenses of her trip. It became a family affair when her mother, stepfather, brother, sister and aunt accompanied her at their own expense.

bfallstrom@herald-review.com|(217) 421-7981

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