Carbondale high school sophomore attends inauguration |

Carbondale high school sophomore attends inauguration

John Stroud Post Independent

CARBONDALE, Colorado ” Roaring Fork High School sophomore Dalton Handy came away from his last civics lesson in Washington, D.C., with a new passion for his studies and school.

“I hope to get that same excitement again,” said Handy, 16, who was invited to be part of the Presidential Youth Inaugural Conference at today’s inauguration ceremony for Barack Obama.

In 2005, Handy, along with classmate Landon Garvik, attended the Congressional Youth Leadership Conference in Washington. Both were in the seventh grade at Carbondale Middle School at the time.

“When I returned I felt like I was really able to step up and be a help to my teachers and to my peers in the classroom,” Handy said of that earlier experience.

He is one of two area alumni of the Youth Leadership program at the inauguration. Rehea Diedrich, a student at The Garden School in New Castle, is also in attendance.

Their return visit will include the inauguration ceremony, plus a black tie gala ball as part of the youth conference. Among the speakers at the ball will be former Vice President Al Gore and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Since Handy’s earlier trip, he said he’s been paying a lot more attention to the news and what’s going on in the country and around the world.

“I paid close attention to the election campaigns, and what the issues were,” he said. “It will be nice to have someone else in (the White House). The wars have cost a lot of lives, on both sides.”

He has also taken an interest in economic issues.

One of his elective classes at Roaring Fork this school year is about investing, which he said has been particularly interesting with the Wall Street crisis and the economic recession.

“My group is actually making money,” Handy said of the mock investment exercise that’s part of the class work. He added their success is partly due to a decision to buy stock in a solar company.

Solar and other forms of renewable energy are a big focus of the incoming Obama administration’s energy policy.

“(The class) has helped me to get into some of the politics of investing,” Handy said.

Contact John Stroud: 384-9160

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