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Young Pahokee Journalist Interviews Obama

A Pahokee pint-sized journalist finally fulfills his quest to interview the president.
/ Source: WPBF-TV

WPBF.com

A Pahokee pint-sized journalist will have quite the story to tell when he goes back to class Tuesday.

Damon Weaver finally snagged an interview with President Barack Obama.

Weaver has made history by becoming the youngest reporter to conduct a one-on-one interview with a sitting president.

The 10-year-old Canal Point Elementary School student interviewed Obama for about an hour Thursday at the White House, asking 12 questions focusing on education, community safety and reduction of violence in urban areas.

"Hi, I'm Damon Weaver, and I'm here at the White House to interview President Obama about education," the 10-year-old said on camera.

It's the moment Weaver had campaigned for since the then-senator was campaigning for president.

Weaver came with serious questions ready, but there was time for the light stuff.

"Everybody knows that you love basketball," Weaver said to Obama. "I think it would be cool to have a president that can dunk. Can you dunk?"

"Not anymore," Obama answered. "I used to when I was young, but I'm almost 50 now so, you know, your legs are the first thing to go."

Weaver already interviewed a guy who can dunk: Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade. Videos of more than a dozen other celebrity interviews done by Weaver have been posted on YouTube.

Weaver and the president covered some issues important to the elementary school constituency.

"Were you ever bullied in school?" Weaver asked.

"You know, I wasn't bullied too much in school," Obama said. "I was pretty big for my age."

Weaver asked Obama what he thinks children can do to make the country better.

"I think the thing that kids can do best is to just work really hard in school and succeed," Obama said.

After the interview, Weaver invited the president to visit his school, and there was one more invitation.

"When I interviewed Vice President Joe Biden, he became my homeboy," Weaver told Obama. "Now that I interviewed you, would you like to become my homeboy?"

"Absolutely," Obama answered, sealing the deal with a handshake.

The president took photos with and gave autographs to Weaver, his mother and his teacher, Brian Zimmerman, who has mentored Weaver and accompanied him to Washington.

Weaver held a news conference on the south lawn of the White House on Friday to discuss the interview. Weaver said the president taught him "to think positive, do your school work, do your homework and, if you have a dream, shoot for it."

When asked if he wanted to be a journalist when he grows up, Weaver backed off a bit.

"Not full time," Weaver said. "I want to be an astronaut part time."

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