An Amazing Trip to the White House

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Several days ago, we reported about a very special trip taken by a girl, Jayda Collazo, who goes to our Milbank Dunlevy Center to participate in the Boys & Girls Club. She’s part of a program called Do-it-Yourself STEM. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math, and it’s an increasingly important part of education to prepare young people for successful careers. And Jayda has embraced STEM as a path to her goal of becoming a pediatrician.

Her work in STEM, as well as her goals and aspirations, earned her a trip to the White House. And we’re thankful that she was willing to tell us what it was like:

My trip to Washington DC was exciting. One reason why it was exciting was because of the transportation. Riding in a jet was probably the scariest thing I have experienced so far in my life, but also one of the most exciting things. At first I was concentrating on landing safely. I was glad to be there with someone who supported me to make it to this trip—Casper Lassiter, director of Dunlevy Milbank Center. I was also prepared on what to say to reporters and other people by my D.I.Y STEM trainer, Déjà Flynn, computer teacher at Dunlevy Milbank Center. So I felt confident on what to do on my trip to the White House.

My trip was also exciting because I received a chance to meet girls that had struggles like I did in the science field. People doubted them, or people didn't support them on their trip to the White House Science Fair. I was very inspired by these girls because of the hard work they had put into their projects which led to their opportunity to show their work to the President. Hearing their stories, I had to support them as well on their presentations that they would give to the President. Also on my trip, I learned how to avoid distractions that would affect my career in the future.

I also made a friend before the trip to the White House, Eddie Cuba from the Boys & Girls Club in New Jersey. I was happy to have someone there with me in case I would get nervous.

Meeting President Obama was the best part on the trip. Shaking his hand on national television was overwhelming because I was on TV. Not only was I on TV, but as I watched him saying his speech I was also up there with him with a few other young adults. The trip to Washington, D.C., was the best trip I had ever been on because it was AMAZING!!!!!!!!!

Watch the video.