Local student selected to attend White House for Youth Black Leadership Summit
Not many people can say they have met the President of the United States, much less be invited and selected to stand on stage alongside him at a national summit.
Well, Franklin Simpson High School sophomore Javarius Rogan received that opportunity.
"I'm involved in the Teenage Republican Club at school and I just wanted to learn more about it and what the Republican Club was. So, I thought if I applied and got accepted into that then I would learn more about what I was into," said Rogan.
Javaris Rogan is an active member of Franklin Simpson's Teenage Republican Club and was selected out of thousands to attend the Youth Black Leadership Summit at the White House on the first weekend of October.
"Most African Americans think that they have to vote Democrat, but after reading the facts and all I came to this conclusion. It was kind of cool getting to be around other African Americans that were also Republican," said Rogan.
Out of 300 people attending the Summit, Rogan was one out of only five selected to stand on the stage alongside President Trump and Vice President Pence.
"At first I was like, is this real? Because I was getting to stand on stage and do this and not very many people can say, hey, I'm getting to do this," Rogan said.
"I have known this young man since he was six years old. He actually attended our church and I've got to watch him grow up," said Franklin Mayor, Larry Dixon. "He has been a great asset to our community and to our city to be able to be invited to the White House to represent the Republican Party and the youth of our Country today and especially the youth of our own community is amazing."
Javarius applied to attend the summit through an application with Turning Point USA, an American Conservative Nonprofit Organization whose mission is to "identify, educate, train, and organize students to promote freedom."
"Not many people of my age can say, 'Hey I am a going to be a Republican or I'm going to do something in the Government.' I feel like if I do something, I can have people follow and also do it and go in the right direction," Rogan said.
Rogan spent October 3-5th in Washington, D.C. with conservative leaders and activists, including Executive Director Charlie Kirk, the organization’s founder.
"I think he is going to influence a lot of people of his own age and as he matures. He's a great influence already on a lot of youth in our town and I think in the years to come he'll even be a greater influence on the youth of our community," said Mayor Dixon.
President Trump shook the hands of those youth leaders who were selected to stand on stage before making this statement: "And to every young person: You represent America’s future. You are the best and the brightest, the bravest and boldest, and someday you are going to be setting records like nobody before. I’m telling you, I know it. I know where’s it’s at. I know where energy is, and you have the energy like very few people have the energy. So I just want to tell you: Get out there. Prove me right, please," President Trump said.
"I've had a lot of people come up to me and say, 'Hey that was cool, I'd like to get to do that.' So, it made me smile when all of the little kids came up to me," said Rogan.
Some may say Rogan is just a kid himself, but his independent thinking and determination, prove otherwise.
"Just step all in. Step all in with all you have and just go for it. That's what I did, I just went for it," Rogan said.
Rogan said he thinks he could be an example for younger generations to think independently and go after what you believe. "Just get involved with everything you can and see what you like," he said.
"It has been a really good adventure for him to be able to go at his age and have that opportunity to represent Franklin," Mayor Dixon said. "I think we can already tell by talking to him that he is going to be a leader. I look forward to watching him mature and represent Franklin and Simpson County."