17-year-old Banning resident Tatyana Peace will soon be on a plane headed to Washington, D.C. to be a part of history in the making.
She's one of a select few who has been chosen to take part in an event that happens only once every four years in conjunction with presidential inaugurations, The High School Presidential Inaugural Conference.
"I'm very excited to see [the inauguration].. and I get to see our president speak, it's going to be very exciting," she told Patch.
Peace, an honor student at the catholic Aquinas High School in San Bernardino, said she leaves Saturday and will be in the nation's Capitol for five days to not only take part in the inauguration, but participate in a series of politically-themed workshops.
"Besides the actual inauguration, I'm really excited for learning how the government works," she said, adding that she's particularly interested in learning about the people the president relies on and how the government is formed.
Peace's grandmother Ann, who has raised Tatyana in Banning, said she is proud of her grandchild's efforts to make this all happen-- which even included taking cans to be recycled for some extra cash.
"When she got the [invitation] letter, she thought 'I would love to go'," Ann Peace said. "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for her."
For the most part, though, Peace managed to pay for the $3,200 trip through sponsorships by family and friends that she gained after writing letters explaining her desire to go on the trip.
"I'm very proud of her," Ann Peace added. "She made it happen."
The 17-year-old aspiring doctor was invited while attending a medical conference this summer at UC Berkeley. When she's not in school, Peace spends her free time training in ballet or playing the piano.
"The road to Washington, DC has been an arduous one for the young aspiring Medical Doctor filled with hours of academic study and volunteer work as well as her classical ballet training at San Gorgonio Ballet in Banning where she trains and is a member of the San Gorgonio Ballet Junior Company," Peace's ballet instructor Julia Olsen-Rodriguez said. "Tatyana is also very active in her church, as a lector and choir member. She finds time to relax playing the piano."