Dr. Valerie Smith Attends the Living Wax Museum at SRS

SRS 4th grader Emily Reilly with Swarthmore College President Valerie Smith.

SRS 4th grader Emily Reilly with Swarthmore College President Valerie Smith.

By Emily Reilly

On Thursday, February 23, Valerie Smith came to the Living Wax Museum at the Swarthmore-Rutledge School. It was a surprise for a 10 year old who was portraying her – me!

You are probably wondering what this Living Wax Museum is. The Living Wax Museum is where all the 4th graders portray an African American who has succeeded in their dreams. We also have one 3rd grade class who also participates. Then, we make poster boards on them. Next, we present them to the school.

I portrayed Valerie Smith. Valerie Smith is the first African American President of Swarthmore College. Here is some information on her. Valerie Smith was born on February, 19, 1956. She was born to W. Reeves Smith, who is a retired professor of biology at Long Island University. Her mother, Josephine Smith, was a public school teacher in the public school system. She is the oldest of three children. She has a brother and a sister. Growing up, Valerie Smith loved to read.

You might be wondering why I chose Valerie Smith. I chose Valerie Smith because she is a great role model. She is very kind and she has an amazing personality. She is very confident, accomplished and is one of those people who when you look at is so happy, that you can’t help feeling happy, too. She also has that kind of laugh that makes you smile, and then you just start laughing, too.

When I decided that I wanted to portray Valerie Smith, my mother, Frannie Reilly, said, “You should interview her!” So, I said to my mom, “That’s a great idea.” I was very nervous when I met her. Then, when I met her, my worries melted away.

At the Living Wax Museum, I had just finished my speech, when one of my friend’s mom came over and said to me, “Hey Emily, President Smith is here.” “Thank you,” I said. I rushed out to meet her. She was in the crowd, and I ran up to her, and I said, “Hello.” And then she said, “Why, hello Emily.” Then, I led her to my booth. She loved it. Next, everybody wanted to get a picture with me and her, including my teacher.

I very much enjoyed President Smith coming to the Living Wax Museum. Thank you, President Smith!

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