Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Monday, January 21, 2013

Students Look For Inspiration In Washington

Students from Boston Green Academy are pictured in Washington, D.C. on Monday. From left: Fred Smith, Tanajah Holloman, Joisi Vizcaino, Ashley Nwaford, Levante Anderson, Polina Zhdanova. Front center: Aliyah Coren. (Marisa Olivo/Boston Green Academy)

Monday’s presidential inauguration is what schools call a “teachable moment.”

Among the thousands of students on the mall are 23 eleventh and twelfth-graders from Boston Green Academy, an in-district charter school in Boston.

Several members of the group passed around a cell phone to talk to Here & Now while waiting for the festivities to begin.

“You don’t mind the cold weather or the people bumping you,” Joisi Vizciano said. “You just focus on Obama’s speech and just enjoying the moment being here. It’s a new experience so it’s overwhelming. It’s like a big thing for me. Im’a be able to tell my kids, my grand kids, I made it here. And a black president at that, me being a young African American, this is, this is – I can’t even explain right now.”

Several of the students said that seeing a black First Family made them feel a brightness in their own futures.

“I think if we got an African American in there, no doubt we can get a Hispanic in there too,” Gianna Perez said. “Hopefully soon, and hopefully she’s a female. So that’s what I’m looking forward to in the near future. ”

The group will be documenting the trip as part of a journalism project.


  • Fred Smith, Tanajah Holloman, Joisi Vizcaino, Ashley Nwaford, Aliyah Coren and Gianna Perez – all students at Boston Green Academy, a public charter school in Boston.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.

Experts share a range of perspectives on how to combat the Islamic State militant group, and the role the U.S. should play.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

November 27 Comment

Books To Give As Gifts This Year

If you're looking to give a book to a friend or family member this holiday, NPR Books editor Petra Mayer shares her picks.

November 26 8 Comments

Arlo Guthrie Celebrates 50 Years Of ‘Alice’s Restaurant’

Listening to the 18-minute musical monologue has been a Thanksgiving tradition among folk music fans for decades.

November 26 Comment

One Refugee’s Story Of Coming To America

Paul Okot vividly remembers landing at JFK airport in New York at 7 years old, after fleeing violence in southern Sudan.

November 25 3 Comments

Rapper Le1f Finds Struggle And Moral Diversity In American Music

We've been asking musicians what they think of when they think "American music." Today we hear from Khalif Diouf, aka Le1f.