Students have high hopes for Obama

Published 11:59 pm Monday, January 19, 2009

Andalusia High School students said if they had an opportunity to speak with new President Barack Obama, they would talk about the economy.

Alex Johnson had a very practical reason why.

“I hope he can get the economy back on track,” Johnson said. “I’m about to graduate from high school. I’m going to college, but I’m going to need a job to help pay for it. With the economy the way it is now, jobs are getting harder to come by. I wonder how it’s going to be this fall. It’s going to affect me.”

Johnson also stated he hoped Obama would “get Iraq under control and bring our soldiers home.”

Jeremy Wiggins said he hoped that Obama would do what he could to help schools — like AHS — who are in proration.

“I’d really like to see him give more money to the schools, for technology and things,” he said.

Christopher Kelley agreed with Wiggins.

“Our teachers are always telling us we have to compete in a global economy,” Kelley said. “We need more technology. We have to compete with against every other student in the world and we need the resources to do it.”

Kelley also said he would like to see additional benefits for those living on Social Security benefits.

Perhaps the most detailed answer came from Stephen Darby.

“Obviously, the economy is one thing I hope he fixes,” Darby said. “I know it can get better. I’d like to see him fix some of the health care issues where instead of the prices being set by the insurance companies, the government sets the prices.

“On a personal level, I’d like to see that instead of this money that was given for drug testing (of students participating in athletics), I’d like to see it put towards textbooks,” he said.

Darby said he understood it would not be an easy four years for Obama.

“At first people were opposed to Obama as president,” he said. “But I think he brings the hope for a better future and for a better America.”

And while classmates agreed that was all fine and good, Mary Beth Arrington and Andrew Veasey had but one simple request for Obama.

“I hope he gets the (Bowl Championship Series) worked out so that we have a true national champion,” Arrington said.

Why, one may ask?

“Because college football is a religion in the south,” Veasey said.