Thursday, February 17, 2005

Potts Camp senior goes to inauguration
By SUE WATSON
Staff Writer

Cameren Loftin, a Potts Camp High School senior, was among a group of 450 high school students nationwide selected to attend the inauguration ceremonies of President George Bush in Washington, January 20.

She was recommended by her group leader to attend the inauguration and to tour Washington after attending a Lead America Conference in Boston last summer.

The group, consisting of students from Costa Rica, a number of U.S. Territories and the United States, enjoyed a six-day stay in Washington where they toured Arlington National Cemetery and Capitol Hill. The group attended an America Rocks concert and took a cruise on the Potomac.

“It was amazing,” said Loftin. “There were a few things we didn’t get to do because of the security. It was a lot of fun.”

The group was at the inaugural address and stood in front of the White House for the inaugural parade.

Loftin celebrated her 18th birthday two days before she left for Washington.

She said she still talks to friends she met while on tour, friends she roomed with in Washington and a friend from Las Vegas.

The most impressive part of the tour for Loftin was visiting Arlington National Cemetery.

“It is a most amazing place,” she said, “very reverent. It had the atmosphere that made you think about everything.”

Other sights the group enjoyed were the monuments commemorating the Korean War, World War ll, Jefferson, Lincoln, Washington, and Iwo Jima monuments and the Washington Monument.

Her favorite was the Lincoln Memorial, she said.

Lead America offers a series of conferences for young people to help them decide on a career, she said. A college credit is offered as an elective for each conference attended.

Loftin attended the Crime Scene Investigation Conference in Boston in July 2004 and the Presidential Conference in January.

“There was a professor who talked to us (the Crime Scene Investigations conference) and it was kind of like being in a college class,” she said.

At the Presidential Conference held on January 16-21, students participated in mock elections and debates.

“They have a lot of speakers on leadership who discuss what it means to be the best you can be,” Loftin said. “It helps me to understand who I am, what my values are and how I keep my values from being dispersed.”

Loftin loves reading, plays softball and likes to ride her horse.

She plans to attend Northeast Community College and then transfer to Mississippi State University to study veterinary science.

She is daughter to Joe and Patricia Loftin and has two older sisters and a younger brother.


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