Overall, this conference was one of the best I've been to. Being able to see my favorite president inaugurated is a once in a lifetime chance which I was beyond lucky to have the opportunity to experience. On top of that, being able to meet Dr. Condoleezza Rice and listen to her speak as well as General Clark, Bob Woodward and Nick Clooney was incredible. All of our speakers spoke about their personal experience as well as leadership overall and what it takes to be a leader in their career field. President Obama's inaugural address was inspiring, to say the least. His words regarding hope for equality and the American values resonated greatly with me, my friends and the conference staff. It was one of the best experiences of my life.
Other than the speakers that the conference had for us, they also provided us with a wonderful black tie gala at the National Air and Space Museum on the final night of the conference. Nearly the entire space was rented out for us, including the IMAX theater, the flight simulators and other general areas in which DJs, food and games were set up for all of the scholars. The dance itself was held in front of space shuttle Discovery, which was incredible to see.
I lack the words to articulate how thankful I am to those who made it possible for me to attend. First and foremost, I would like to thank David Bonnette of Big Machines for providing my main financial support. There are also many other family and friends who helped me out in my efforts both financially and otherwise. This conference has only confirmed my beliefs that I want to go into politics and be politically active for the entirety of my life, whether it just be volunteering on a campaign or becoming a national elected official.