GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The arrival of another presidential candidate to South Mississippi has many young people excited. On Wednesday, GOP presidential candidate John Kasich will make a campaign stop in Gulfport. His destination is Climb CDC on 30th Avenue.
Excitement was swirling around Climb CDC on Monday, days after students learned that Kasich will be hosting a town hall meeting at their workforce training center. The students and staff are preparing for what they call a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
"I was like, who? And then my teacher explained and I was like, seriously? Then, the whole class got really excited and I was like 'whoo!' said Cheyenne Mitchell, a student at the center.
Students picked up mops and brooms to turn the Event Center at Climb into a campaign venue. In the classroom, they were also brushing up on their knowledge of politics and background on the Ohio governor, hoping for a chance to shake his hand and ask him a question.
"This is a great experience for all of us and for him to come to such a small organization. I mean, it literally lifts us up and gives us a chance for our voices to be heard. I'm thrilled! I'm excited," said another student Edwin Locca.
Kasich's visit could also mean national exposure for the building and its programs that offer high school drop-outs a second chance to earn a GED and get hands-on training in fields like culinary arts and construction.
"Now, the whole country will get to see what we do here at Climb CDC. We will definitely take advantage of that," said Climb CDC Marketing Director Marquez Singleton.
Many consider the upcoming campaign stop a rare opportunity for young people who are trying to better their lives to learn about the issues that could affect their future.
"I thought it was amazing because to society, some of us here at Climb CDC, we think we're nobody. But for a governor to choose to come here is a big thing, because it makes you feel like, hey, he's thinking of us," said Mitchell.
Climb CDC was booked by Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes, who is the Harrison County Chairman for the Kasich campaign. It is a smaller venue than the Mississippi Coast Coliseum where another candidate, Donald Trump, held a rally last month.