One of the many calls to action President Barack Obama made on Tuesday during his historic inaugural address was one he's been stressing from day one: service. It's an example he set on Monday's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, when he picked up a paintbrush at a local Washington, D.C., youth shelter, and it's clearly a message that has resonated with the millions of young people who helped him win the election.
The proof was on glittering display Tuesday night (January 20) at the Youth Ball at the Washington Hilton, where a number of the attendees said they had taken the new president's challenge to heart. Waiting for the night's sets from [artist id="1235716"]Fall Out Boy[/artist], [artist id="10551"]Kid Rock[/artist] and [artist id="1230523"]Kanye West[/artist], Baltimore native Meagan Morrison, 26, said she couldn't attend the inauguration because she had a biochemistry exam at the nearby University of Maryland.
"In general, I'm inspired by the message that we can do anything," she said.
Her friend, Adriana Naim, also 26, said that as medical students, they provide service every day, but that she was also inspired on Saturday to work as a Spanish language interpreter at a local shelter.
For Jackie Mahendra, 25, who just moved to D.C. from Chicago, the new president represents hope for change in the very profession she's chosen as both her passion and vocation: immigration reform.
"I work at a group that does online organizing for progressive immigration reform," she said. "I've been working with immigrant refugee communities in Chicago. ... And I've volunteered to teach ESL at a community center in the Mexican neighborhood I lived in in Chicago, and I think this [idea] of one day of service can extend to a lifetime."
Community service comes in all shapes and sizes, and for Ted Jou, 27, a newly minted patent lawyer from Silver Spring, Maryland, it means working on science education issues and trying to secure funding for science magnet programs.
"Sports teams get all the funding, but the Science Bowl and the math team have trouble getting funded," he said. "President Obama talked about how we're falling behind other countries in science education, so that's what I've been working on."
"Be the Change: Live From the Inaugural" is live on MTV right now! Stick with us for wall-to-wall coverage of the inauguration and of the scenes in Washington, D.C., New Orleans and Kenya tonight and in the days that follow.