Teenager chosen to meet President Bush

January 29, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
President Bush is coming to the Bay Area on Wednesday for a republican fundraiser in Hillsborough. And when "Air Force One" lands at SFO, the president will be greeted by a San Francisco high school student.

Richard Berwick has taken the president's call to volunteerism to heart.

"In communities across our land, we must trust in the good heart of the American people and empower them to serve their neighbors in need," said President George Bush during the State of the Union Address.

Richard Berwick, a senior at San Francisco's Lowell High School, is one of those people. That's why he was chosen to greet President Bush, on Wednesday, when the President steps off of Air Force One at SFO.

"Friends said, 'Hey come check this out at school,' so I did," high school senior Richard Berwick.

Berwick joined a service club called "Building with Books." which organizes construction projects in third world countries.

He helped raise about $6,000 dollars and traveled to Mali Africa where he teamed-up to build a school. It opened his eyes.

"We need to educate people. There are so many problems that we could solve by educating people. Even if we don't have the tools to solve the problem, if we educate them about it, someone will find the tools to solve the problems," said Berwick.

Lowell High's principal says Berwick is a polished student who takes the lead.

"Comes in, introduces himself, if I need any help, if there's anything he can do to help the school. He just came right in and sold himself," said Principal Andrew Ishibashi from Lowell High School.

"I know that the U.S. is capable of doing a lot more than we are now," said Berwick.

Berwick's volunteer work has fueled a passion. But he says he'll keep his politics to himself when he meets the president.

"I can't say it. If I said it I'd get myself in trouble," said Berwick.

Berwick is now involved in various community service projects, and for that, he will receive the president's volunteer service award.

"Even if you're doing something as small as cleaning up your neighborhood park, you're doing good. You're helping the world. It makes me feel like there is a way to make a difference and there is a way to fix the problems that we have," said Berwick.