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History, life lessons await honored Raleigh teens

RALEIGH -- With the onslaught of junk mail invading mailboxes, the Pearson family was skeptical when their oldest son, Willie, received a letter inviting him to Tuesday's presidential inauguration.

"Dear Willie," the letter addressed the senior at Southeast Raleigh High School. "I am very pleased to inform you that you have been selected to represent North Carolina at the 2009 Presidential Youth Leadership Conference sponsored by LeadAmerica. Given the historic nature of the 2008 election, this is certain to be the ultimate political event."

What sounded like a scam turned out to be a prime reward for Willie, who will join more than 500 other students from North Carolina heading north on Interstate 95 to witness Tuesday's transfer of power to Barack Obama.

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