Obama election inspires Englewood school kids

CHICAGO And for some children, the promise that you can be anything in America rings truer now than ever.

The whole world was watching as Obama became the nation's first African-American president. And Antonio Harris was one of the witnesses.

"I stayed up past when I was supposed to go to bed to watch him," he said.

Harris is a seventh grader at Earle Elementary School in Englewood. He and his classmates were still processing the fact that the next person who moves into the White House will look like them.

"To see Obama in office, there's nobody to tell you you can't make it," said student Desiree Boyd.

Boyd, who's 14, says she had followed Obama's campaign for many months but realized the impact of his election Tuesday night while watching the returns with her mother who cried.

"When you're born in Englewood, you're stereotyped. You're not gonna graduate, you're not gonna make it through college. And my teacher says there are people betting that you're not gonna make it through high school," Boyd said.

"He came from the same place that I come from. And he moved past all the obstacles that we face every day," aid student Vichina Austin.

Students at Earle have learned about Obama in social studies, where the president-elect has become an example of what they can achieve. For Deonta Graham, that means running for president of the student council.

"In my mind, I never thought that I would try to run for president," he said.

Sandillo Wright also stayed up late Tuesday night to watch Obama's speech. He says he's interested in the potential the new president can bring to Washington.

"It just amazes me how, when people lost their jobs and their houses, we have a person who can help them get their houses back, get their jobs back," said Wright.

Some students said they want to follow in Obama's footsteps and go to Harvard Law School. All say they realize the sky's the limit.

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