Petersburg student invited to Presidential Inauguration - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Petersburg student invited to Presidential Inauguration

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PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) -

Out of thousands of high school students, one Petersburg girl has been picked to watch the President take the oath of office. But this isn't her first invitation to an inauguration!   

As the nation watched President Barack Obama make history four years ago, one face in the crowd of thousands was Ebony Patterson.

"There's so many young people my age who would love to have gotten this opportunity," she said.

At the time she was in the fifth grade. Now a junior at Petersburg High School, Ebony will be watching the President take the oath of office again. It's all part of the National High School Presidential Inaugural Conference. 1,900 students are going and were invited based on how well they do in school and their leadership abilities. 70 will be from Virginia according to the program.

An honor student, Ebony belongs to a number of school clubs while balancing her time at a cosmetology program off campus. She says standing out is something people should be proud of.

"You can't follow the crowd," she said. "You always have to be yourself do what you think is best you can't follow everyone else."

While in D.C., the conference will hold a number of events including a speech by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. 

"She's an African American lady who's very intelligent and who's doing [well] for herself and I want to be like that too," said Ebony.

That kind of outlook on life is something guidance counselor Constance Jones noticed. That's why she nominated Ebony to go.

"She has initiative and persistence and when she seeks out to do something and she's determined to do it Ebony will be successful," Jones said.

Ebony says her biggest supporters are her mom, dad and two sisters. She leaves for Washington D.C. on Saturday.

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