Students get dolled up for inauguration

January 12, 2009 4:57:47 PM PST
It was a very busy day for some students from the South Shore School of the Arts in Chicago. They were getting fitted for tuxedos and trying on dresses because they are heading to Washington, D.C. for the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama.

Fifteen students from South Shore School of the Arts will be attending the inauguration of President-elect Obama. The students - eight boys and seven girls - were picked through an interview process.

On Monday, the young men visited K and G Fashion Superstore on South Stony Island to select and be fitted for tuxedos. For all of these students, this is their first time on a plane out of Chicago.

"To be seeing the first African American president, it's just outstanding," said Vincent Richardson, South Shore School of the Arts.

"This is a great opportunity to go to Washington, D.C. to see the inauguration for Barack Obama to get sworn in and it's a very good feeling that I have," said Joseph Ligon, South Shore School of the Arts.

Prince Uche is from Nigeria originally and cannot believe he was selected to attend the inauguration.

"This means a lot to me seeing how Barack Obama is from Africa," said Uche. "It means a lot to me and I really look forward to going there and seeing him."

"The students were selected based on attendance, performance and behavior. They had to interview to see if they could go on the trip and so far we are so pleased," said Yvonne Burnett, South Shore School of the Arts.

The seven females students spent Monday at David's Bridal Salon in Oak Lawn selecting evening gowns. They will spend three days in Washington attending the inauguration on the national mall, visiting historic sites and attractions and a visit to a college.

"This is a historical event and I will be a witness to witness him get sworn in," said Michelle Hawkins, South Shore School of the Arts.

"This is a very important deal for me," said Tonique Porter, South Shore School of the Arts.

"I'm happy that people sponsored us and helped us go," said Cynthia Jefferson, South Shore School of the Arts.

United Airlines is paying for accomodations and flights to Washington, D.C. and a private donor paid for the tuxes and all the dresses that they can keep. But they still don't have any money for shoes and accessories.

The students will also be keeping a journal of their Washington experience.