At 20, Demetrius Minor has done things that many Americans won't ever do in their lifetime.
"It was an awesome experience," said Mr. Minor, a student at Georgia Military College who recently returned from four months serving as a White House intern.
One major highlight, he said, was meeting President Bush.
He went through the receiving line and had a brief word and handshake with the president. The person in line behind Mr. Minor asked the president for a photograph. Only then, Mr. Minor said, did he realize he had his camera and had missed a photo opportunity.
While in Washington, Mr. Minor worked in the president's correspondence office.
"We analyzed the mail before it went to the Oval Office," said Mr. Minor, a 2003 Academy of Richmond County graduate who was in Washington from Jan. 10 to May 12.
Letters from heads of state such as British Prime Minister Tony Blair and American political leaders such as California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger passed through Mr. Minor's hands.
Letters came from schoolchildren, Hurricane Katrina victims and military families, he said.
Mr. Minor said the amount of mail the president receives on a daily basis is amazing.
He was in Washington to witness the April meeting between Mr. Bush and Chinese President Hu Jintao.
While in Washington, Mr. Minor said, he met with several statesmen, such as Georgia Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson and Rep. John Barrow. He also met several governors, including Georgia's Sonny Perdue, during a governor's conference.
Not all of the moments in Washington had to do with people with household names, Mr. Minor said.
He worked during the White House Easter Egg Roll and sat in the presidential box at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to watch the National Symphony.
Mr. Minor said he also worked with an organization called Food and Friends, which provides meals for terminally ill patients.
Mr. Minor said he hopes to have a career in politics one day and feels that his experience as a White House intern will help in that quest.
Reach Charmain Z. Brackett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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