Story last updated at 4/10/2013 - 6:22 pm
In January Klawock Sophomore Tiona Rudick experienced what is probably a once in a life time event - that of attending the inauguration of a U.S. President. Rudick watched the inauguration from the Washington Mall with 1,800 other students from around the country as part of the National Young Leaders Conference (NYLC). This is the second time to Washington, D.C., for Rudick with NYLC, the first when she was 11 years old. At that Junior NYLC conference she was joined by Klawock classmate Dillon George. Two years later NYLC invited Rudick back to a conference held in Boston. Rudick was originally nominated for NYLC by Klawock teacher Ann James. Rudick and her family received much financial support from throughout the community, making it possible for her to attend the week-long conference.
Rudick said there were many highlights at the conference for her in addition to the inauguration itself. The participants attended an inauguration ball held at the Smithsonian Institute of Space and Air as well as meetings with former Secretary of State of Condoleezza Rice and Four-Star Gen. Wesley Clark. She says she particularly enjoyed listening to Clark as he was a Vietnam Vet and was wounded four times. Rudick also found Secretary Rice inspiring in what she had to say about humble beginnings and where one can go. Rudick quoted Rice as saying, "It's not about where you are from; it's about where you go."
Rudick, though not initially interested in politics and even voting, says she came away from the conference inspired to get involved and make a difference in her community. Rudick now wants to pursue a degree in accounting at either the University of Washington or the University of Hawaii at Manoa. To discover more about NYLC Rudick suggested visiting the NYLC website at www.nylc.org.