ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA — January 8, 2009 — As the 44th President of the United States is inaugurated on January 20, one DoDEA student will have a front seat at many of the historic activities in the Nation's Capital. Candace Waters, a senior at AFNorth High School in Brunssum, The Netherlands, will be part of a delegation of student leaders who have been invited by LeadAmerica to participate in this year's inaugural events.
During a recent interview, Waters could hardly contain her excitement and enthusiasm about this once in a lifetime opportunity.
"I was shocked. When I first learned that the delegates to the Leadership Conference would be invited to attend Inauguration events, I couldn't believe that I would get to see the new President," she said, adding, "I am so excited!"
LeadAmerica sponsors youth leadership programs for middle, junior, and high school students. With a commitment to providing quality leadership education, LeadAmerica empowers teenage leaders and instills in them ethical and principled leadership values, attitudes and skills. Each of its high school conferences is college accredited and its programs are approved activities of the National Association of Secondary School Principals.
Candace and her mother, Venetia, will travel to Washington DC to attend the Presidential Youth Leadership Conference, sponsored by LeadAmerica from January 16-21. Participants are expected to attend the Inauguration, the Inaugural Parade, and an Inaugural Ball.
Waters is looking forward to the trip and said she is really excited about seeing all kinds of people coming together to celebrate this special moment in history. "I'm a big fan of Barack Obama, and the opportunity to watch history as it is made is incredible," she said.
Waters has been a student at AFNorth High School since 2004. She is the daughter of Lt. Col. Esau and Venetia Waters, an Air Force family assigned to Brunssum. A native of Greenville, N.C., Waters hopes to attend East Carolina University in the fall. She is considering a future career as a psychiatrist or a social worker.
"I'd like to help children in need who haven't had the advantages that I have had growing up," she said.
Waters is a solid student and has a full schedule of classes and activities to keep her busy. She currently takes two Advanced Placement classes, English Composition and Government which keep her busy. During her tenure at AFNorth, she has been involved with a variety of clubs and organizations including Student Council, Class Board, Senior Class Committee, and has served a manager for AFNorth softball and basketball teams. She is also a musician and is hoping to attend the DoDDS-Europe Honors Chorus for the third straight year.
Dr. Ellen Minette, Principal of AFNorth High School, praised Waters for her leadership, civic, and learning skills.
"Candace Waters is one of AFNORTH'S most popular and respected students," said Minette. "She has the ability and intelligence to make friends with students from different countries and backgrounds as well as being a favorite among the staff. Candace is a member of our school welcoming committee and has a knack for making new students feel a part of the AFNORTH family."
Minette went on to recall her own welcome to AFNorth High School and the role Candace played.
"My first month on the job, Candace approached me, put her arm around my shoulder and said, 'Dr Minette, we have to run this school together.' I believed her, and her leadership skills and insights have proved invaluable in promoting AFNORTH as a quality school."
Last summer, Candace was a participant at the Global Youth Leadership Conference in Washington DC. During that conference, she was selected as one of five students for the prestigious Kofi Annan UN Leadership Award. She has been offered a summer position with the LeadAmerica as a Team Leader for the summer of 2009.
Interviews: Through AFNorth Principal, Dr Ellen Minette
AFNORTH International School
Brunssum, The Netherlands
Tel: (0031) 45-5278251
For more information about LeadAmerica, visit their website: http://www.lead-america.org/about/index.html