Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Winfield STAND School Meeting

I am always asked "What is your favorite school that you have been to?"  Honestly, I had a few different answers, but Winfield High School visit has been my favorite HIGH SCHOOL so far:)  There was a new club starting up, and the two co-founders found me on the internet and called Rose, my appearance coordinator, and booked me for their second meeting.

Brittany and Sam, the club representatives, met me in the school office that afternoon.  Because of their level of professionalism, I assumed they were seniors in high school, but after having the opportunity to go to school lunch....yes, school lunch....with them, I realized they were freshman.  I was blown away!

Eating school lunch was my favorite!  Winfield was having Easter Dinner that day at lunch so we all had turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, salad, apple pie, chocolate milk and the SCHOOL ROLLS:)  Let's just say that the school rolls were as SCRUMPTIOUS as I had remembered!

After meeting and greeting with a few of the other students that attended Winfield High School, we left to conduct the meeting.  On our way to the library, both Brittany and Sam said "No one believed us that you were coming.  So I am so glad that you came to lunch with us to show the whole school that we weren't lying and that we were famous enough to be your friend!"  That made my day and I have continued to stay in touch with both of them (pictured below).

Lincoln High School GEAR UP

WV GEAR UP is a federally funded, six-year program aimed at Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs. GEAR UP provides rigorous educational services to help students plan, apply and pay for education and training beyond high school.  I had the wonderful opportunity to go into Lincoln High School in the Clarksburg area to talk to the students and parents partaking in the GEAR UP Challenge.   

Being that this was not a "normal" school appearance with my platform speech ready, I talked about the importance of going on to further your education or obtain an apprenticeship or certificate that will qualify you for more jobs in your field.  Also I talked about my work with election campaigns and how that lead me to my job with the White House and also the McCain campaign.  Throughout those experiences and life lessons, much was learned: Goal Setting, Time Management, Making Wise Choices, Knowing Who You Are, and most importantly, What You Want to be Remembered For.  

I relived my experience in high school serving as President for two large clubs, filling out the FAFSA, applying for college, applying for various scholarships, choosing my place of study, and picking a major.  I got a few laughs about the FAFSA form and my parents wanting to kill me just because I was a senior and there was so much that went into that year.  But again, to sum up the presentation, "Life isn't easy....but it's great!"  

I am very satisfied with where I am in life right now, but I know I am here because of the hard work that was bestowed upon me, the support system I had at home and at school, and the push to set and achieve goals.  

Morgantown Boys & Girls Club

Monday, I went to the Morgantown Mountaineer Boys & Girls Club to talk to the kids about overcoming adversity.  This was my first Boys & Girls Club appearance of the year and I was so excited to see the kids and hear about what they did that day in school.  

When I came in, the students were working on Power Hour  (Power Hour is one hour Monday-Thursday where all members work on homework, study, or get tutored) so I just sat quietly and waited until everyone had finished their homework.  There was a little girl that sat down by me on the couch and had a Barbie in her hand.  I, jokingly, asked if her Barbie's name was Fred and she looked at me and said "Uhm, no, her name is Barbie!"  I laughed just because of the seriousness, but then realized that kids have just as much ability to change their attitude and feelings as adults do:)

Power Hour was soon over so I was able to start my presentation.  All of the kids gathered in the "couch room" and listened to the presentation while also asking questions.  Early in the presentation I asked everyone what they thought a BAD CHOICE might be?  One little girl responded, "Drugs."  I thought "Yes, they are getting it quick."  Next student responded, "Drinking."  Strike two. got interesting.  A little boy raised his hand and she said "Getting drunk on green tea!"  We all laughed, but it wasn't as good as the ones to follow.  The girl with the barbie said "Letting a six year old drive a car."  I just had to laugh because I had YET to get that answer....but in actuality it was a great BAD CHOICE.  And then the one to top it off was this little eight year old boy who started in on a whole story. "How about carrying a knife in your pocket to school, setting off the metal detectors, then running away when you got caught.  Pulling the fire and water alarms and going to the local convenient store and stealing every Little Debbie cake they had there."  The room erupted, as did I!  

I learned then a very valuable lesson.  When asking a question, be prepared for ANY answer! After laughing we all diverted and commented to the eight year old that he was in fact VERY RIGHT, those all would be bad choices and then went on to the rest of the presentation which went very well.

As I have mentioned before, I ALWAYS do a question and answer session after each school presentation.  You get the usual questions of, "Where do you live," "How old are you," "Do you have any pets,", etc. but today there was a little boy that asked, "If there was a Mr. WV?"  I jokingly said, "My boyfriend thinks he is Mr. WV, but I am not so sure about him. So, would you like to be my boyfriend for the day and reign as Mr. WV?"  He said, "Uhm, no.  That would be quite alright.  I don't like playing with girls."  AGAIN, the room erupted and I acted like I was crying.  I said "You just threw me under the bus!"  He replied, "Yes, I wish I could do that to my sister" and pointed to where she was.  

After everything was asked and answered, I passed out my autograph cards to each student in the room.  Mind you, that day I choose to wear my hair naturally curly and it has been cut since my picture was taken back earlier in my year.  Once everyone had received one, the kids started looking at me funny and then back at the picture.  In various different forms, they all said "This isn't you.  You don't even look like this girl.  You came in here and lied to us saying you were Miss WV!"  I just had to laugh because they were right...I really didn't look like her, but after being ask to smile while the picture was neck to my face, they all agreed it was me:)

This was one of the most fun appearances yet and I thoroughly enjoyed the company of the Mountaineer Boys & Girls Club.