Filipino scholar to attend Obama inauguration

Ateneo de Manila freshman Santiago J. Arnaiz will be the only Filipino student to take part in a truly American celebration - the inauguration of US President Barack Obama.

Arnaiz will join other outstanding university students from across the United States and around the world on Jan. 19-23, 2013, at the Collegiate Presidential Inauguration Conference in Washington, DC. The five-day program, which coincides with the Presidential inauguration, will provide scholars with a deeper understanding of the history behind the electoral process and the rich traditions surrounding the inauguration.

"The Collegiate Presidential Conference will provide students with an opportunity to take part in historic events that coincide with the inauguration of the president of the United States of America," said Marguerite Regan, dean of the Academic Affairs for the Presidential Inauguration Conference. "What is really wonderful for the young people gathering in this event is that it will give them the chance to become more familiar with and attuned to the president who will govern the United States over the next four years. We certainly hope this will inspire the next generation of leaders."

The scholars will also have the opportunity to interact with historians, political experts, and leading decision makers to discuss campaign strategies and presidential politics. They will likewise watch the grandeur of the inauguration parade, as the President, Vice President and their families make their way to Pennsylvania Avenue from the US Capitol Building to the White House. To further observe Inauguration Day, scholars will attend an exclusive Gala Inauguration Celebration just for them.

Santiago's exemplary academic achievements and leadership potential have earned for him the invitation to the prestigious affair.

"I'm so thankful to have been given the opportunity to be a part of this celebration of democracy, I feel that our country is in the brink of a new age of progress, and we as a people, stand to gain much in emulating and advocating the faith the American people have in their own government and in their country," says the 19-year-old alumnus of the Global Young Leaders Conference in Washington, DC and New York in 2011.

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