Girl, 14, heads to DC

Jan. 15, 2013 @ 08:18 PM

Abbey Welch, 14, didn’t ask for a single thing for Christmas.

But her interest in politics and leadership got her mom’s wheels turning for the perfect gift idea.
“She was invited to the (High School) Presidential Inaugural Conference last year so I starting planning on how to get her there and we gave this to her for Christmas,” said Joyce Welch, Abbey’s mother. “I’m glad she’s interested and that we can give her those options and let her explore them.”
Abbey, a freshman at High Point Christian Academy, has attended several of the local and state leadership conferences, so when she got invited to Washington, D.C. for a national conference, it’s all she wanted to do.
“In seventh or eighth grade, I got selected to go to the state conference and I had a really, really good time,” Abbey said. “This year we get to meet Condoleezza Rice.”
Along with meeting Rice, Inaugural Scholars will get to view the presidential inauguration and attend group meetings to learn more about the role of the president and campaign strategy and attend an exclusive gala.
“I didn’t know how to bring myself to be a leader, but these conferences really help you see that it’s not about how people perceive you, but about doing the right thing no matter what,” Abbey said.
Tuition for the conference is $3,195 and includes housing for four nights at a four-star hotel, most meals and all program materials. The conference is from Jan. 19 through Jan. 23.
“Something that is really wonderful about so many young people gathering in Washington, D.C., for this event is that it will provide them a chance to become more familiar with and attuned to the president who will govern the United States over the next four years,” said Marguerite Regan, dean of academic affairs for the Presidential Inaugural Conference. “We certainly hope this will inspire the next generation of leaders.”
Abbey, who serves on the student council at her school, said she hopes this conference teaches her how to be a better leader.
“In high school, it’s a lot different than middle school,” Abbey said. “Going to the high school conference this year, I’m hoping to learn more about carrying myself through high school so that I can be more of a positive influence on others.
jhowse@hpe.com | 888-3617