McKinley Tech Student Describes Meeting President Obama

Meeting my President

Former President Barack Obama rests his hand on the shoulder of student Hans Capozzi as he surprises a group of students at McKinley Technical High School this past Friday. Photo: Barack Obama/Twitter

I was pulled out of my AP Literature class on Thursday by two women who said they were with DCPS. They told me that I was selected to meet the Chancellor of DC Public schools and that they needed to take my picture. After this I thanked the women and they added hinting emphasis in telling me “Don’t miss school tomorrow. You’ll regret it.” And they were right, I would’ve regretted it. The next day I heard an announcement in my fourth period environmental science class that all students who were selected were to report to the middle school Learning Lab.

Chancellor [Antwan] Wilson is a very involved and ambitious man. We sat in a circle and had an open discussion with him about what our school is doing for us and vice versa. He told us some of his plans for DC Public Schools, and we listened.

I sat at the front of the room with my back to the door. As a classmate was sharing his summer internship experience I noticed Chancellor Wilson’s face light up and a voice appeared from behind me, “How’s it going everybody?” The voice bounced around the room as if it had addressed millions -- billions at that. My astonishment was beyond explanation and I turned back around in disbelief. Before I could glance back, a hand was on my shoulder and it became so real.

Barack Obama spoke to us congenially, as counterparts in creating a better future for our country. When he asked me about my summer internship at the Department of Commerce, my voice cracked with nervousness but after that my words flowed. Seeing his face and analyzing his speeches all throughout my high school life made me comfortable to converse with Obama. Our discussion ranged from academics, to politics, and even to general life advice.

There’s no feeling like having the chance to bring light to the face of your idol.

Obama talks with the students. Capozzi is pictured to the far left. Photo: Eric Schultz/Twitter

Hans Capozzi, 16, is a resident of Ward 7 and a Senior at McKinley Technical High School (151 T Street NE). He was one of a select group of students who were told last Thursday that they had been chosen to meet with Distrcit of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor Antwan Wilson on his  Friday September 8 visit to the school. "That alone is a big deal," said his father. "This couldn't have been a bigger suprise."

After meeting with the students, Obama said on Twitter, "These young people that I met at McKinley Tech today are the reason I'm hopeful about the future. To all the young people headed back to school around the country: Make us proud."

"You're the next generation of leaders, and we need you."