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January 13, 2013
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Carson High students prepare for trip to presidential inauguration

For much of Christen Chamberlin's young life, she has lived in Canada with her mom. “I've learned a lot about their government and history,” she said. “I never really had a chance to learn that much about America or its government.”However, two years ago, Christen, a dual-citizen, moved back to the United States with her father. In that time, she has tried to absorb as much culture and history as she could. In November, she voted in her first election, and on Friday, she will join a group of Carson High School students leaving for Washington, D.C., to attend the 57th Inaugural Ceremonies to swear in the President of the United States on Jan. 21.“This is kind of going to be a lesson on what America is based on,” Christen said. This will be the second trip organized by Carson High School government teacher Angila Golik to bring students to the inauguration. Golik said the trip four years ago was “Phenomenal, which is why I chose to do it again another time.”She said students who witnessed Barack Obama, the nation's first black president, take the oath of office on the Capitol steps, will never forget it. Likewise, she said, students going this year will always remember the experience.“Having students witness this first-hand is far more extraordinary than anything they would read out of a book or newspaper,” she said.Golik organizes the trip through the national organization World Studies. It is open to all students, and costs around $2,100 each, but students host a variety of fundraising activities to help defray the cost.Party affiliation doesn't play a role.Although Talia Brotherton, 16, would not have voted for Obama, she is eager to attend his swearing-in ceremony. “I'm really excited about the experience of an inauguration,” she said. “The inauguration is part of our country. It's part of who we are. It's not about the politics, it's about the experience.”While there, students also will tour the capital and nearby historic landmarks. Caitlyn Morton, 17, is looking forward to the trip to Arlington National Cemetery. “My aunt and uncle are there,” she said. “I'm going to get to see where they're buried.”Leticia Echeverria, 17, hopes to connect with her family as well. “I have family who served in the military,” she said. “I hope to see all the memorials and pay my respects. I think that's important.”It won't be the first trip for Courtney Hack, 18. She went in eighth grade as part of a school-sponsored trip.“We went to all the memorials and everything, but I didn't really get the significance of it all,” she said. “When we go back this time, I'll have a better understanding.”Golik said 10 girls are going this year and she expects to take another group in 2017.“I assume it will become a tradition at Carson High School,” she said. “As long as I am teaching, it is something we will do every four years.”In that time, she hopes to witness another first in American history.“I hope to one day take a group of students to see a female be sworn in as president of the United States,” she said. “Then we will truly be able to look at our children and say, ‘You can be anything you want to be when you grow up.'”

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Jan 13, 2013 03:06AM Published Jan 13, 2013 03:01AM Copyright 2013 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.