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By luck of the draw, Daniel Paiz was chosen to introduce President Obama at his speech on Tuesday.
Paiz, a senior international affairs major, got up in front of a packed Coors Events Center Tuesday evening to introduce the president. Whether the enthusiastic cheers that Paiz received were for Paiz himself or due to the hour delay in a hot stadium, the crowd welcomed him to the stage and Paiz gave a personable introduction that imitated the president’s eventual speech.
The candidates were told to submit a biography to Student Affairs, and Student Affairs randomly chose three names to give to the White House. The White House then chose one lucky student to introduce the president.
Paiz’s selection for the role of introductory speaker took him by surprise.
“This really happened all by chance, I just submitted a bio to Student Affairs,” Paiz said.
Paiz delivered his speech to eager ears. He spoke about his own personal experience with student loans, saying that without the use of student loans he would have had to result to going to a community college rather than a university. Per orders of the White House, Paiz included information about congress’ plans to double student loan rates this summer.
Paiz said that because he comes from the lowest income bracket, student loans made it possible for him to go to a university.
In addition to being able to introduce the president, Paiz also met Obama three times that day: once in the Sink, once backstage before the speech, and the final time on stage when Obama shook his hand.
“I was taken to the Sink, and after that I got to ride in the same motorcade with him to the Coors Events Center,” Paiz said. “Then backstage right before the speech, he offered me a few words of encouragement before I got onstage. Then we met for the final time on stage when he shook my hand.”
Paiz stated what President Obama would later say in his speech, the promise of the “American Dream”, an education that is affordable for all Americans. A sentiment that Paiz is familiar with.
“My grandmother always told me that ‘no matter what happens in life, your education can’t be taken away from you,’” Paiz said.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Bethany Morris at Bethany.firstname.lastname@example.org