A former Gumley House pupil took the trip of a lifetime as she travelled to Washington to witness the inauguration of new US president Barack Obama.
Ciara Macklin was invited to attend the historic occasion on Tuesday as a reward for her contribution to the United Nations Global Youth Conference two years ago.
Topics like world poverty and globalisation have always been close to Ciara's heart and she has a bright future ahead of her, according to proud father Finbarr Macklin, 50, of Grimwood Road, Twickenham.
The 19-year-old, who left the Isleworth secondary this summer, first took an interest while studying for a piece of coursework during her GCSE's.
"I became really passionate about it and am passionate about it now," she said before her trip. "When I got the news I gave the biggest smile you have ever seen. It's an amazing opportunity."
Ciara was originally selected to attend the conference after impressing judges with an essay on world poverty and a presentation on global citizenship.
She was joined by hundreds of young people from across the globe at the event in New York in July 2007.
Her father believes that as a state school Gumley House, in St John's Road, does not always get the praise it deserves but in this case it should be ÔapplaudedÕ.
After completing her A-levels, Ciara has decided to take a gap year but hopes to go on to university to study law.
She said a career in human rights would be her dream and would like to work for organisations like Fair Trial International, which have a 'great philosophy'.
During her stay, she will also attend the inauguration ball and conferences whose speakers include Al Gore and Colin Powell.