Monday's presidential inauguration is what schools call a "teachable moment."
Among the thousands of students on the mall are 23 eleventh and twelfth-graders from Boston Green Academy, an in-district charter school in Boston.
Several members of the group passed around a cell phone to talk to Here & Now while waiting for the festivities to begin.
"You don't mind the cold weather or the people bumping you," Joisi Vizciano said. "You just focus on Obama's speech and just enjoying the moment being here. It's a new experience so it's overwhelming. It's like a big thing for me. Im'a be able to tell my kids, my grand kids, I made it here. And a black president at that, me being a young African American, this is, this is - I can't even explain right now."
Several of the students said that seeing a black First Family made them feel a brightness in their own futures.
"I think if we got an African American in there, no doubt we can get a Hispanic in there too," Gianna Perez said. "Hopefully soon, and hopefully she's a female. So that's what I'm looking forward to in the near future. "
The group will be documenting the trip as part of a journalism project.
- Fred Smith, Tanajah Holloman, Joisi Vizcaino, Ashley Nwaford, Aliyah Coren and Gianna Perez - all students at Boston Green Academy, a public charter school in Boston.
This segment aired on January 21, 2013.