TFK: Making Headlines
June 11, 2018
On May 30, I went to the White House Sports and Fitness Day. I was there to cover the announcement of the new President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition.
I arrived at the White House, went through security and then to the South Lawn, where a variety of sports were being played. I interviewed famed New York Yankee Mariano Rivera, volleyball legend Misty May-Treanor, and Ivanka Trump, who helped host the event. We spoke about what the Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition is doing to get children, and specifically girls, involved in sports. Rivera, May-Treanor, and Ivanka Trump said similar things: that the aim of the council was to encourage more children to be active. “We’re trying to motivate kids to play sports, not do social media,” Rivera told me. He cited the fact that playing sports helps children get better grades and raises their self-esteem.
My Unexpected Opportunity
After the interviews, I went to the White House press briefing room and found a spot in the back. A reporter standing near me helped me get the attention of press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. I asked a question my friends and I had discussed before I went to Washington, D.C. I worded the question carefully, to be respectful but also to clearly express the anxiety kids face at school. I asked: “One thing that affects my and other students’ mental health is the worry about the fact that we or our friends could get shot at school. Specifically, can you tell me what the administration has done and will do to prevent these senseless tragedies?” I was surprised that I got a chance to ask the question. I was even more surprised that the press secretary choked up as she answered my question.
After that, things went so fast I could barely process what was happening. I went back outside to see President Donald Trump make a speech about kids’ health and fitness. Then, requests from news outlets started coming in. They wanted to interview me. A clip of me in the press room had been shown on CNN! It soon went viral. After I left the White House, my dad and I retreated to our hotel room, exhausted. The excitement died down the next day, but I am proud to have brought attention to the important issue of school safety.