From Kickapoo H.S. to Washington, D.C.

Eric Olson, SBJ EditorIn a week’s time, Chase Snider will go from quietly eating lunch in the Kickapoo High School cafeteria to a front row seat at Barack Obama’s historic presidential inauguration.

The budding journalism student received press credentials to cover the Jan. 20 event that will be forever etched in the minds of Americans. Snider is reportedly the only high school student in America with a press pass.

Snider has agreed to cover the day’s events for his school and a number of local media outlets, including Springfield Business Journal, KY3, KTTS and Alice 95.5.

And just as quickly as he’s shoved from the halls of Kickapoo High into the local media spotlight, he might be getting lost in the sea of travelers attempting to book stays in the nation’s capital. The expected crowd is now at 2 million, and I’m told his mom spent all day yesterday at Great Southern Travel trying to secure a hotel room.

Snider and family estimate the travel bill will be about $3,500, and they’ve raised $2,500 as of Friday.

“We’re going to find a way, no matter what,” Snider told Springfield Public Schools’ community relations office.

He’s even made a Craig’s List post trying to round up the funds.

Springfield Business Journal contributed $200 to the effort, because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance and it’s important to us to encourage the development of young local journalists.

I’ve played phone tag with Snider today – as you can imagine, his world’s been turned upside down. And as much as his life has changed this week, just think how much of an impact Tuesday’s events will have on this young man.

I look forward to publishing his first-hand account in the Opinion pages of SBJ.

Congratulate Chase, or offer help to get him to D.C., at this blog or

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