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Photo Courtesy of Erica O'Connor
Sixth-grader London O'Connor stands with her littler sister at her hotel in Washington D.C. She was invited to attend a 5-day conference for the Presidents Inauguration with the National Young Scholars Program.

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Elementary student recounts experience at Presidential Inauguration

Sixth-grader chosen from Young Scholars Program to attend conference


BARSTOW • Sixth-grader London O’Connor had an experience of a lifetime when she attended the inauguration ceremony of U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington D.C.

The Thompson Elementary School student was nominated by her 4th grade teacher for the National Young Scholars program and selected from a pool of students to attend a 5-day conference at the U.S. Capitol.

“There were a lot of people there,” she said of Inauguration Day, which drew a crowd of about 600,000 people to the National Mall on Jan. 21.

She said her favorite part of the President’s Inauguration speech was when President Obama spoke about protecting school children.

“He talked about protecting us kids from guns and making the community safe and better,” she said. “I think we need that because there’s a lot of violence going on.”

During the week-long conference, London watched several speakers, including Laura and Barbara Bush, the fraternal twin daughters of former President George W. Bush.

“They talked about leadership and how being a leader made them successful,” said London, who wants to be a lawyer.

This was London’s first major traveling experience outside of Barstow, with her mother and uncle driving her across country to attend.

“I’m really proud of her. She’s the only one from Barstow that came, I think,” said London’s mother, Erica.

London also attended the International Celebration Gala, and visited the National Cemetery in Arlington and the Smithsonian Institution Building.

The City of Barstow and Bethany Christian Fellowship donated to London’s trip.

“It’s a different environment,” Erica O’Connor said. “It was nice; it was fun.”

Contact the writer:

(760) 256-4123 or

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