May 15, 2010

My daughter and the other Wisconsin honoree meet Condoleezza Rice.

After some time spent getting to know the other honorees, and parents had a chance to visit DC landmarks, we all went to the most fantastic awards banquet I can imagine. We were taken to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History – after hours – to listen to Dr. Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of State, deliver the most perfect keynote. She was inspiring, funny, and the most perfect role model for the youth in this audience.

Sunday Speakers 06b

From the Prudential site:
“The Prudential Spirit of Community honorees give us great hope for the future,” said Dr. Rice. “Their compassion and commitment are already making a real difference in so many lives, and I have no doubt that their leadership will continue to positively impact the world for many years to come.”

In addition to her many years of government service, Dr. Rice cofounded an innovative after-school enrichment program in California that seeks to raise high school graduation rates by helping middle-school students prepare for high school and college.

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Later, Seth Wescott, Winter Olympics snowboard Gold Medalist, also addressed the State Honorees. He emphasized the importance of perseverance and mentorship.

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After Dr. Rice’s keynote, we dined on gourmet hors d’oevres. Imagine eating in a dimly lit Smithsonian exhibit, beneath the wild animal exhibits, dinosaurs, and the Hope Diamond. In the Safari exhibit, the recorded sounds of storms were played, and we felt as though we were sitting in a rainstorm, without feeling a drop. In my life, I doubt I will ever experience a more classy event.

Prudential Spirit of Community Series:
Washington DC Landmarks
Smithsonian Awards Dinner and Program
Prudential Honorees at Montgomery Elementary
Meeting US Senator Feingold
Positively Speaking – Service Opportunities Abound

Washington DC series (2008):
Washington DC Dos and Don’ts
View from Washington Monument
Mount Vernon
National Air and Space Museum
Washington DC Outdoor Art
National Archives – Declaration of Independence
Sculpture Gardens
Arlington Cemetery – Unknown Soldier
Washington DC Subway – Metro
National Mall and Reflecting Pond
Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial


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