Kent State student gets to tour White House

Caitlin Restelli

Walking through the White House west wing felt like a daydream turned reality, said Justin Pierce, Undergraduate Student Government executive director.

Pierce, senior finance major, was invited to attend a reception at the White House Friday in appreciation for his participation and assistance with the youth engagement initiative.

“It was just so humbling and inspiring just standing there like, ‘oh my gosh, the leaders of the free world lived here’,” Pierce said.

Pierce participated in the first roundtable forum held by President Obama and the Office of Public Engagement on Feb. 22. About a dozen young leaders from Northeast Ohio discussed issues affecting them.

A few weeks after the forum, Pierce was chosen to give a student testimonial of his experience.

Pierce said he is working with the Office of Public Engagement to “facilitate conference calls with young Americans throughout Northeast Ohio with other student body presidents from universities and colleges.”

The youth engagement initiative Pierce is helping out with is an action taken by President Obama to encourage young Americans to host roundtables to discuss youth issues. A White House official or government agency will try to attend 100 of them.

While at the reception, Pierce and his brother, whom he took as his guest, walked throughout the White House and socialized with other community leaders who were invited.

Later that evening, Pierce and his brother, along with two others, were given a tour of the west wing.

Pierce said it was incredible.

Taking further action, Pierce has organized a roundtable, like the one he attended, to be held Friday, April 22 at Kent State with a small group of students.

Pierce said he hopes a White House official or government agency will attend.

Contact Caitlin Restelli at [email protected].