Lynda Vesy's mother couldn't be prouder of her busy daughter Rikky.
NEW MIDDLETOWN -- Rikky Vesy left behind her small town to mingle with some of the nation's movers and shakers.
Lead America, a national student group whose mission is to teach leadership values, selected the Springfield Local High School senior to attend Thursday's presidential inauguration with 400 other students from across the United States.
The national group picked the New Middletown resident because of her 4.0 grade-point average and long list of volunteer work accomplishments.
Vesy's visit to the U.S. Capitol took her to the inauguration ceremonies of President Bush Thursday. Her five-day stay included a question-and-answer session with White House staffers.
With dreams of entering politics herself, the 18-year-old said the visit awakened her to the significance of politics.
"It was definitely worthwhile to feel part of something this big and important and that you're part of something that matters that much to the country and world," said Vesy, who hopes to attend New York University for political science or business. "I really encourage young people, if they have an opportunity to do something like this, to do it."
On the lighter side, Vesy went to a youth concert at the District of Columbia Armory that included appearances by pop celebrities JoJo, Hilary Duff, Ruben Studdard and 3 Doors Down. Bush and his twins Jenna and Barbara also appeared.
Vesy's mother, Lynda, "couldn't be prouder," she said. "I know whatever she does, she will do very, very well."
Vesy's tour of Washington, D.C., took her to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, the Korean War Memorial, Lincoln Memorial and Arlington Cemetery.
She is president of Springfield's Spanish Club. And she's a member of the National Honor Society, student council, choir and Teen Institute, an anti-drug group.