When Felecia Young started posting fun math videos to TikTok at the height of the pandemic, she never dreamed they would take her to the White House.
It started when Gov. Roy Cooper’s staff reached out to the Knox Middle School Math teacher in April. Young’s innovative and educational social media content caught Cooper’s attention, and he wanted to feature her virtually in his State of the State address. As COVID restrictions loosened, Cooper even visited Young at Knox Middle School.
And when President Joe Biden’s staff asked Cooper to nominate essential workers to attend a Fourth of July celebration at the White House, Cooper immediately thought of Young.
“I felt really special that my governor thought of me,” Young said.
So, Young and her family packed their bags and headed to Washington, D.C. for the holiday weekend. They toured the monuments and enjoyed a Washington Nationals baseball game.
Sunday afternoon, they headed to the White House. After three security checks, Young and her family joined essential workers from all across the nation on the White House’s South Lawn, enjoying food, games for the kids and each other.
Young also had the opportunity to connect with many fellow educators who were in attendance as well.
“I like to meet people and have conversations,” she said. No matter where we were during the pandemic, we all experienced the same thing.”
The highlight of the evening, however, was meeting the President and First Lady. Despite having to stand on a chair to see him, Young described the moment as, “surreal.”
Later, she had an opportunity to shake President Biden’s hand and to have a conversation with the First Lady.
“She was so genuine,” Young said. “She actually took time to talk to me.”
After the President and First Lady’s appearance, Young and her family enjoyed the Fourth of July Fireworks from the White House’s South Lawn.
While the limelight of the past few months has been exciting, Young said she’s excited that state and national leaders are looking at teachers and appreciating their hard work.
“I felt really special,” she said. “I’m just a regular teacher. I just do what I love.”