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Kate goes to Washington

A Pearl River County teen has one of the hottest tickets in the nation and today she will be close enough to see history in the making.

Kate Satimore, a 10th grade student at Pearl River Central High School, left for Washington, D.C. last Thursday with her parents, Hank and Jayne Satimore, as one of a few dozen students nationwide participating in Presidential Youth Inaugural Conference, an event sponsored by the Congressional Youth Leadership Council.

“I am excited,” admitted Kate. “I am going to get to witness one of the most historical inaugurations in our history.”

The quiet, but extremely intelligent 16 year old was introduced to the CYLC when she was an eighth grader by her teacher, Nilene Quave. Attending the National Leaders State Conference last summer in Alabama, Kate spent four days in Binghamton, learning eight “core leadership power” skills specifically geared toward eighth and ninth grade students.

As one of 100 students chosen from Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana to attend the intense life-changing conference, Kate, who admits to being quite shy and flying “beneath the radar” found herself among peers and friends. It was at that four-day conference Kate began to blossom out of her shyness, learning how to prepare and deliver speeches, perform a talent in front of an audience and attend numerous seminars. “It was really hectic at first,” Kate said.

She soon settled in and discovered being among so many new people was an exciting adventure. Explaining that the 100 students were divided into four groups of 25, Kate said each evening they had to make a choice on what events they would participate in the following day. “The boys versus the girls was the most fun,” she said, saying that during that particular seminar, they debated several topics with the boys on one team and the girls on the other. “We did things like who’s the better driver, jobs and are they equal, and if one should go to work and one stay home,” Kate said.

She said, one of the most exciting and probably the most intense adventure of the four-day conference was her group’s choice to host the final night’s program. Admitting that it was difficult at first to come up with a theme, Kate said the actual part of putting everything together was fun. “At first we didn’t really know what we wanted to do,” said Kate, “but we came up with a movie night theme. We had the red carpet, movie tickets, spotlights.”

It was that participation in the Alabama conference that opened the door for her to be able to attend the inauguration of the nation’s 44th president, Barack Obama.

“I had a choice of a ten day conference over the summer or the inauguration,” said Kate.

Kate chose Washington. “I am a little nervous about meeting new people,” she said. “But I know it is going to be great fun.”

With an agenda packed full of events from sunrise to way beyond sunset, Kate will room at a five-star hotel in the nation’s capitol. “We were told we will start each day at 5 a.m.,” Kate said. She said the PYIC began its program on Saturday with an opening night reception, followed by Keynote speakers Gen. Colin L. Powell, former vice president Al Gore and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

“Al Gore and Colin Powell are going to talk to our group,” Kate said, who admitted she was not sure what questions she would have for them. “The Youth Group told us to start preparing. I’ve been thinking about it, but I am not sure yet.”

The Smithsonian Institution is what she is most excited about, aside from the actual inauguration. “I’m dying to see the Smithsonian,” Kate said, noting that the PYIC students have been granted the privilege of private access to the famed museum.

From there they will witness the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama and his Inaugural address before having a prime spot to view the inaugural parade for the 44th President of the United States.

While in Washington, Kate and the other PYIC students will have the opportunity to visit the National Mall’s monuments and museums, as well as attend an exclusive Black Tie Inaugural Ball.

“I can’t believe I am going to witness such an historical inauguration. Either way, it’s going to be a lot of fun,” Kate said