Byron

BYRON

Major: English
Hometown: Window Rock, AZ
Year: Senior

Fort Lewis College is the place to experience truly life-changing opportunities.  Just in my senior year, I was afforded two once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.  First, I was the only student selected to testify on a congressional level in support of a bill that would benefit the college if it passes.  It was an amazing experience and allowed me make connections with legislators including an FLC alumnus who now works for the Obama Administration.  More recently, I have been invited to a separate legislative breakfast at the state capital where I will once again have to opportunity to support FLC initiatives.

A month after the senate hearing, I received word that Michelle Obama was predicted to visit our campus at a campaign event.  As if that wasn’t exciting enough, I was recommended to introduce the First Lady at the event.  I was interviewed by the Obama campaign headquarters for Colorado in Denver.  The competition was tough because I was competing against local and state politicians for the honor of introducing the First Lady.  The day before the event, I was notified that I was selected to introduce the First Lady to what ended up being a crowd of over 3,000 people!

I was very nervous the day of the event.  I spent a majority of the afternoon practicing my speech.  While backstage waiting for Mrs. Obama to arrive, I met other politicians and leaders from the state and community.  I was the only student backstage from Fort Lewis College.  Right before the First Lady arrived on campus, I was taken into a room where the First Lady would enter for the meet and greet.  My nervousness quickly turned to excitement when Mrs. Obama entered the room.  In that moment, reality struck, I was meeting the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama! 

Me with the First Lady of the United States!

She pulled me in for a big hug followed by initial hellos.  I told her a little bit about myself and Fort Lewis College.  We talked about my commitment and service to the campus as student body president and she shared her interest in my passion, higher education and student affairs.  After our chat, I was escorted to an area behind the stage where I waited before giving the introduction.  I could hear the excitement of the audience and the music of the school band.  I was still behind the curtain so I couldn’t see much, all I could see was the behind the scenes staff rushing to start the event including the staff who were reviewing the First Lady’s speech.  Right before I took the stage, Michelle Obama gave me another hug and shared a pep-talk and dance to get me excited.  When I addressed that crowd that day, I was reminded how special Fort Lewis College is for making dreams come true.