Belle Chasse teen wins national contest to attend inauguration

High school freshman Peyton Piper will be packing his bags and heading to Washington, D.C. for the presidential inauguration.

BELLE CHASSE -- High school freshman Peyton Pipher will be packing his bags and heading to Washington, D.C. for the presidential inauguration.

It's a dream come true says the teenager who has known since grammar school, that he wanted to run for public office. Pipher, 14, said since fifth grade, he's had a passion for leadership, politics and the news.

"I've always wanted to help other people out and I've always had a passion for public speaking," Pipher said.

Clever campaigns got him elected to president of just about every club and school office he ran for, along with straight As in the gifted program, running track and being the Belle Chasse Middle School mascot. 

He wrote and published a novel at the age of 11 and was elected a leader in a national service, leadership and academic organization. To be a National Junior Beta Reporter, he had to speak several times, in several states in front of crowds as big as 12,000 people.

Pipher's teacher at Belle Chasse High School, Daina Hotard, secretly nominated him to go to D.C. this week for the Envision Presidential Leadership Summit.

Pipher will join 2,500 teens from 30 countries.

"We have kids from every political view, from every ethnic group, everything you can think of," Pipher said. "They actually sent out an email that was heartwarming. It said, 'Remember we're all human beings and that we're coming to this to work together, to collaborate. Put your political differences aside and let's have a good experience."

Speakers at the inauguration include Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani female education activist and youngest-ever Nobel Prize winner, Spike Lee, General Colin Powell, Carly Fiorina and gold medal soccer player Abby Wambach.

Pipher said he's reading all of their books just in case he gets a chance to meet them. 

His highlight he said will be going to the inauguration.

"I wanted to wear a suit," Pipher said. "Me, I always want to dress my best, but they said to wear casual. I'm still debating on whether or not I want to wear my suit or casual clothes."

Regardless, Pipher said whatever he wears will be patriotic with red, white and blue. 

So who was Peyton's inspiration for this path? A TV show that came out long before he was born. It was 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' reruns on Nick at Nite.

"The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, I just like how outgoing he is, his comedy, how he uses comedy to help people," Pipher said. "He always has a smile on his face, and I feel like if we all have a smile on our face, we can bring real good into this world." 

Peyton will go to one of the inaugural balls set for those at the summit. He said if Mr. Trump shows up at his, he will be elated.  

"That would definitely make the experience 100 times better than it already is," Pipher said.

If the policy on health care that his group is writing, wins, it will be presented to the Congress and President Trump.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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