Oakland kids help decorate the White House

November 27, 2009 9:00:38 PM PST
The White House is starting to take on that holiday glow. There will be one important addition next week - floral design from a group of kids from Oakland.

The White House is the nation's showplace for the holidays. This American tradition of decorating it will have something new this year. A group of at risk teens from Oakland will create magic with floral displays. The idea came from Cora Sue Anthony from Anthony Staging.

She thought "Why don't I take this group of kids, teach them how to decorate, do some flowers and go to the White House."

She recruited teens from youth groups in East and West Oakland to learn a skill they'd never even considered. They started creating arrangements for offices, events, and homes. She stages houses like million dollar homes for sale.

"It kind of encompasses changing the way kids from other areas think, by bringing them out of the 'hood," said Anthony.

Preparing for the White House has been life changing.

"When I walk into houses like this, it makes me dream, dream big. I can see myself doing something like this and making it to a higher point in life like this," said Isaiah Caroll, a McClymonds High School senior.

It gives him hope, he says. Isaiah wants to play college football.

He says the White House "Means a lot. It means I accomplished something. It means a lot. I'm happy with my work and I'm glad I made it there."

Their ornament is called "A Season Of Change Makes A World Of Difference." It is in Washington, ready to be hung on the White House tree.

Anthony's daughter has arranged housing for them at Howard University and Anthony says this experience seems destined. Her husband went to high school with President Barack Obama.

"The White House part is just the cherry on top. What's happened in the months leading up to it is the beautiful, beautiful thing," said Anthony.


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