Red Bank High senior Josey Janow got to shake the hand of the president, but it wasn't during his momentous visit to Chattanooga last week.
Janow got to meet President Barack Obama in late July at the White House, along with 97 other American Legion Boys Nation delegates specifically chosen for the experience.
"That's probably one of the coolest things I've ever done," Janow said of meeting the president. "To have the pleasure of meeting the leader of the free world ... just when he walked into the room it's like the air got sucked out of the room and everybody was cheering."
Each year at Boys Nation, two representatives from 49 states, who are selected through an interview process at Boys State events across the nation, are invited to Washington, D.C., to learn the importance of participating in the political process as well as the process for presenting a bill under U.S. Senate rules, according to legion.org/boysnation.
Janow, who is student body president at RBHS as well as a football player and JROTC member at the school, was one of the two chosen from Tennessee out of 600 boys at the Boys State convention in late May.
He is also the first student from Hamilton County to be selected to go.
During his time spent in Washington, D.C., Janow said he toured monuments, met with U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander and presented his own bill on imposing a flat tax to his fellow Boys Nation "senators."
"It was amazing to see how these other delegates thought; what their thought process was," he said in reference to his fellow delegates' bill presentations. "Even though I was very honored to be selected, I was a little out of my element with Boys Nation. It was an extremely political environment. I can say if I ever did think about going into politics I would be very familiar with it."
Janow said he is interested in attending either the U.S. Naval Academy or West Point to study chemistry or chemical engineering.
"I am extremely honored for the experience I had and I would like to thank my JROTC program, Red Bank football, my teachers. ... Really I don't think I would be anywhere near the person I am today without them," he said.