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12 year old sees inauguration up close and personal

As students celebrate their Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a day off of school, Kameron Prager, 12, will be in Washington, D.C., watching the presidential inauguration.

The West Manheim, Pa. resident is attending the inauguration in a weeklong trip to D.C. with People to People, an ambassador program he was nominated for in fifth grade.

At the end of the school year his teacher, Jessie Gobrecht, nominated him for the ambassador program, which touts global awareness, academic success and developing an interest in service programs on its website. The program is geared towards students from fifth through 12th grade, according to the website.

Kameron was nominated because of academic performance in fifth grade, his work ethic and attention to detail, said his father, George Prager. Attending the inauguration will be the first trip Kameron is taking with People to People, George said.

George said they had a few options for programs Kameron could do within the next year, and the timing of the inauguration clicked with Kameron's schedule and interests. Witnessing the inauguration of a president, any president regardless of the politics, is remarkable, said George, and to see it in person is incredibly valuable.

"For a 12 year old to say that he attended, that he went to [an inauguration], I just think that's great," George said.

During the weeklong trip, around 400 ambassadors with People to People will be attending the inauguration, a People to People inaugural ball, as well as a litany of museums and memorials from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to the International Spy Museum.

"I really, really like history and I'll be able to learn from the Smithsonian and the memorials for the veterans," Kameron said.

Kameron said he is also interested in politics, though he doesn't always necessarily get involved with it. George said more than anything, he notices his son likes learning.

Kameron said as well as history, he also enjoys computers - he doesn't consider himself a techie, Kameron said, but if he needs to fix something, he can usually take care of it.

The trip will be split into two delegations, George said, with between 150 and 200 kids in each group. In order to fund the trip, which costs more than $3,000, donations came pouring in from the Prager's church, Hampstead Baptist Church.

Members from the Hampstead Baptist Church donated between $800 and $900 George said, which was incredibly helpful. There is also a collection bowl at Cup Tea Bar and Cafe on Westminster's Main Street, said George.

If Kameron decides to continue with the program, he'll eventually have the chance to go abroad. The trip to D.C. is the first long trip Kameron will have away from home, George said, which helped with the decision for him to go.

"I will miss home, but I am very excited going on the trip," Kameron said.

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