NOVEMBER 2011

It was just another day at Ma`o Organic Farms. Except for one thing. First Lady Michelle Obama came down for a visit. To make this presidential stop over possible, a lot of work had to be done.

Education Resource Specialist Kamuela Enos said, ”Preparation for the First Lady’s visit was intense. They came down and walked the site, talked to the interns and after it was established that they were gonna come, it was even more intense planning.”

Since Michelle Obama is such a high profile person, nothing was spared to ensure her safety and comfort at the farm. Secret Service Agents did a sweep of the whole Ma’o property to make sure nothing was amiss. Everyone who was going to be near Mrs. Obama at the event had their belongings searched and were screened for anything dangerous. This was all before the First Lady was even at the farm.

“This is the biggest thing thats ever happened to our farm,” says Ma’o Intern Maisha Abott as she describes the event.

While she was at Ma’o, First Lady Obama was taken on a tour of the farm’s main features. The tour was given by Ma’o interns, who had to do a lot of prepping for it. Abott called the planing “hectic” since she had a lot to explain, and all of it to someone in a position of power who she’d never met before. Six interns had the task of explaining to the First Lady different parts of the farm that kept Ma’o running as a whole. After that they were given the opportunity to sit down and talk with Obama. Having the privilege to do these things wasn’t given to just anyone, the interns who got to do it were hand selected based on different merits.

Head of the Youth Leadership Training Program Angela Hoppe-Cruz said,” We wanted to represent the diverse backgrounds of Ma`o YLT by choosing interns who brought a different aspect to the table.”

Whether they were picked for academic excellence or leadership qualities, all of the interns were highly capable for the job they were doing.

Organizing an event of this magnitude took the hard work and skills of many different people. At the end of the day, everything went smoothly and Michelle Obama’s visit is something that will be remembered for a long time.

“This is something I’ll definitely tell my children and grandchildren about. It means a lot to me,” said intern Derrik Parker.

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