Student Spends Day With Powell
Feb. 02, 2001
WASHINGTON (AP) _ A high school senior who spent Friday with Colin Powell said he was surprised at how much access he had to the secretary of state.
``I was thinking I wasn't going to see him that much,'' said Johnny Stone, who followed Powell as part of the national Groundhog Job Shadow Day. ``I didn't think I was going to be eating lunch with him.''
The day marked the first time the pair met in person, although Powell has mentored the 17-year-old Washington student by e-mail for several months.
``It has been a pleasure this past year to be able to get to know Secretary Powell through e-mail exchanges,'' Stone told other students participating in the shadowing program at the State Department. ``I also really enjoyed the opportunity to be able to shadow him today. He's a nice guy. And cool, too.''
Powell took some time to explain to the group what he does at work.
``I come in and there's a box on the left side of my desk all full with stuff, paper, lots of paper,'' he said. ``All these adults you see around the room against the walls stay up all night writing paper I have to read the next morning.''
He then encouraged students in the group to master the English language because it would open the door to improvement in all other subjects.
``One thing I want you to take away from this day is the importance, the absolute importance, of the English language in your lives,'' he said. ``Read anything you can get your hands on.''
Stone said that he has begun studying harder since corresponding with Powell.
``He's just told me to do well in English and math, don't ever doubt myself, always stay true to my goals,'' he said. ``He's helped me out a lot.''