Area teen to attend inauguration

WELLSBURG — A Wellsburg teen is looking forward to attending the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump as well as hearing from retired Gen. Colin Powell and others while participating in an international youth leadership conference this weekend in Washington, D.C.

Colten Carbasho, a senior at Brooke High School, said he was researching scholarships on the Internet when he learned about the Envision Presidential Inauguration Leadership Summit, through which about 2,500 teens from 30 countries will attend the inauguration.

During the five-day conference, the teens will participate in a simulation working together to find possible solutions to various issues and hear from several distinguished guest speakers, including Powell, director Spike Lee, Maryland Gov. and former presidential hopeful Martin O’Malley and and Tucker Carlson of Fox News.

An honors student, Carbasho said to apply for the conference, he was required to submit two brief essays. One asked the biggest issue the next president would face and the other questioned how he personally could improve the world.

Carbasho, who submitted the essays before the presidential election, said whoever became the next president would need to inspire more unity among Americans before any social issue, including economic struggles, can be addressed.

“Without everyone working together, it would be hard to get anything done,” he said.

Carbasho said in the other essay he revealed his interest in aerospace engineering and how, while working in that field, he could develop technology for spacecraft and extraterrestrial land rovers.

He said since then he’s also become interested in chemistry, noting the many career opportunities available through that field of studies.

“There are so many things you can do with it,” said Carbasho, who has been accepted at West Virginia University.

The son of Thomas Carbasho of Wellsburg and Lara Friend of Follansbee, he is drum captain of the Brooke marching band and enjoys kayaking and hiking with his girlfriend, restoring a 1973 Cutlass S and working in a woodshop with his father, where the two have created cutting boards to raise funds for the trip and continue to sell the laminated boards. The family also held a yard sale, with donations of items from neighbors.

Carbasho said the trip will include his first commercial airline flight and a ball at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. The museum and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum were two landmarks he had hoped to see during a visit to the capitol with his family, but they are closed.

Carbasho said although he didn’t know the outcome of the presidential election when he applied, he was interested in attending the conference and inauguration.

“Whoever won, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime trip, but I am happy (Trump) won. Let’s just hope he does good work for the next four years,” he said.

(Scott can be contacted at wscott@heraldstaronline.com.)

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