Local high school teacher Daphne Bradford has been working for over a year to get her students from Dorsey and Crenshaw High Schools to The White House to meet the president in person. They are now one big step closer, thanks to the tireless efforts of their teacher.
Bradford, who is also an Apple Distinguished Educator, told us how it happened. Here’s the story, in her own words:
“Something unimaginable and unforgettable happened at the Senator Barbara Boxer fundraiser. I was able to place our package from Crenshaw and Dorsey students, requesting a personal visit with the President at the White House, directly into the hands of President Barack Obama!
Here's how the handoff went: Organizing for America asked me to volunteer at the president’s appearance at the fund-raiser for Senator Barbara Boxer. I grew more and more excited as I tried to figure out how I could make this an opportunity to actually give the President our packageI was ready. When I arrived, I was assigned to work the reception and ended up having the VIP responsibility of securing the preferred seating area for elected officials and the exclusive area in front of the stage where President Obama was speaking.Mind you, during the entire event, I am standing up front, controlling the crowd with such authority the Secret Service is giving me instructions. I was seating dignitaries such as former Governor Grey Davis, Congresswoman Jane Harman and others.At one point the President talked about making it easier for students to afford a college education with the passage of the Education Reconciliation Act. The well-heeled crowd jumped its feet applauding. As the president was waiting, I yelled, “I’m a Teacher, and thank you!” And the Commander-in-Chief turned and focused on me and pointed, replying, “You’re welcome!”After delivering his dynamic speech, the POTUS descended the stage to shake hands with party members. Once he passed the elected officials, my opportunity arrived. This was it... my one and only chance.As the Commander-in-Chief approached me, I held the package out of sight behind the barrier rail. Tied together with a red ribbon decorated with white stars, the package included typewritten letters plus a DVD containing their video recorded letter, asking the President for a personal invitation to visit him and the First Family at the White House.Also included was a personalized calendar (our fundraising effort) featuring pictures and text telling the story about my Dorsey High School culinary students feeding Organizing for America volunteers during his 2008 campaign and how the Crenshaw High School Digital Media Team volunteered to video tape and photograph the health care rallies and training sessions.When President Obama arrived in front of me, I reached out with my right hand and shook his hand, then leaned close to his ear and politely asked, "Mr. President, my students/kids have put together a package for you. Will you take it?" The POTUS said “YES!” Mission accomplished!Less than 48 hours after receiving the package the Oval Office responded asking us for some available dates to visit the White House. Now we wait, hoping to hear if the President and First Lady will be there to meet our Crenshaw and Dorsey Students and teachers."