NAMPA - Want to talk about a once in a lifetime opportunity? A Nampa teen was hand picked by the Idaho STEM Action Center to hop on a plane to Washington, D.C., and meet President Barack Obama.
Over the summer Skyview High School freshman Tylar Hedrick was in D.C.. and could only dream about what the White House looked like from inside its gates, and now she doesn't have to imagine anymore.
When Hedrick isn't hanging out with friends or competing in track events like the long jump, you can find her honing her engineering skills. She and four other students created a prototype called 'H.E.L.P.' - which stands for Homeless Emergency Life Pack.
"Its kind of a homeless shelter with the ability to transform into a suitcase that you can put your personal belongings in," said Hedrick.
The project was entered into a competition called FabSLAM, where it won first place. The goal of the competition: to solve a problem in the community.
It's those skills that landed Hedrick in a pretty important building.
"I was like oh my gosh! This is really happening," said Hedrick. "I'm really going to be in the White House"
"She was literally bouncing off the walls, jumping up and down for days," said Christy Stansell, Hedrick's mother. "I mean it's still happening."
Hedrick and 10 other students from around the country met in the West Wing of the White House to talk about STEM programs and what improvements can be made in the classroom.
"The other students specifically asked if we were going to meet the President and they told us no," said Hedrick.
But moments later...
"President Obama walks in like, 'hey guys, how are y'all doing today' and I think all of our jaws just dropped," said Hedrick. "Then he's like how about we take some pictures in the Oval Office."
Hedrick didn't leave the White House without some souvenirs, like a box of Whit mans Chocolate, White House M&Ms and a challenge coin.
"According to his staff he rarely ever gives these out," said Hedrick. "He shook all of our hands he gave us hugs and high fives. It was awesome."
She also walked away with a message about following your dreams.
"Go ahead and go for it," said Hedrick. "It was definitely a big inspiration there to keep working towards it."
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