Volunteers earn spot to see President


Valencia College

Various students were able to attend President Barack Obama’s speech by using different methods to obtain a spot inside the venue.

Multiple students from Valencia College had the opportunity to watch President Barack Obama speak to a select group at West Campus today.

Some students were simply invited due to their involvement in SGA, student leadership or various clubs, but others volunteered to earn their spot. With the promise of seeing the president live and in person, students were eager to help out in anyway they could.

One of the few that was lucky enough to be in the room with the president was student Kelly Louton, who volunteered by ushering guests to their correct seats. Louton, who is a student leader in the Atlas Lab, had originally volunteered not knowing what lay before her.

“I was fairly shocked, at first I agreed to volunteer for something and I didn’t know what I was volunteering for so I was pretty excited.” said Louton “It’s something I can tell my children one day, it was an opportunity of a lifetime.”

Also in attendance was student leader Ansaar Tamli, who was chosen as a volunteer captain who was in charge of the parking and ensuring that the proper authorized personnel used the lot. Tamli volunteered with the promise that he would earn the opportunity to be in the room with the president while he spoke.

“Our hard work paid off, we had to work hard for it, but it was a great honor and a great time.

I still have a hard time believing that I actually shook the presidents hand and he was right in front of me, I’m happy to be part of Valencia, and I’m happy they chose me to be a volunteer captain,” said Tamli.

Unlike the other two students, Charles Hammond made it into the room through hope and perseverance. Hammond, who is not in any clubs, SGA, or isn’t a student leader had to get his ticket a different way.

Hammond took his destiny into his own hands and went directly to West Campus President Falecia Williams.

“Tuesday, I found out about the whole thing, and I’m not in any clubs, I’m not in SGA, I’m not a student leader, but I had a will and a passion to go so I went to Dr. Williams and the vice president.” said Hammond who walked media from the check-in table to the event center. “I talked to them and we discussed it for about 15 minutes then they said I could go.”

Students like Hammond show that anything is possible through perseverance, even meeting the President of the United States of America.

(Taken from March 26, 2014 and #ObamaAtValencia issue)