GARLAND — In a couple of weeks, Frederick Hayes will be traveling to the nation’s capital for the 2017 United States Presidential Inauguration.
“I feel excited about it,” Frederick said with a smile. “It’s a big honor to be recognized like this. I’m not use to the attention, but I do like it.”
Frederick, an eighth-grade student from Union Middle School, will be leaving Jan. 16, to see President-elect Donald Trump take the oath of office. And the local youth will see it up close — in style, thanks to Brooks Brothers.
He tried on a special suit Wednesday evening at the factory in Garland with a label inside that says “custom-made for Frederick Hayes.” The tailor-made suit is accompanied with a shirt, bow tie, and other accessories. Frederick’s initials are also embroidered on the shirt and is the same style worn by President Barack Obama during his inauguration. According to factory personnel, Obama’s shirt was made in Garland too.
The special trip was made possible when Frederick was selected to participate in the 2017 Presidential Inauguration Leadership Summit scheduled for Jan. 18-22, 2017. The program gives participants to collaborate with their peers to discuss and find solutions to challenges. Frederick is looking forward to wearing the Brooks Brothers suit at the summit.
It was donated by John Martynec, senior vice president of manufacturing at Brooks Brothers. Martynec traveled to North Carolina and measured Frederick during a stop in Garland. It all began when Samantha Stevens, a supervisor at the factory, contacted Martynec about donating the suit. She was contacted by his mother, Barbara Peterson, who was seeking assistance with having a shirt folded, so it will not get wrinkled in a suitcase. Stevens went a step further by asking for a shirt.
“I’m very excited about it,” Stevens said about the donation and Frederick’s trip to D.C. “He’s going place where none of us got a chance to go. It’s a blessing.”
Peterson was thankful for Stevens efforts to go above and beyond for the Garland youth.
“I just thank God for Samantha who got the ball rolling,” Peterson said while thanking Martynec and other Brooks Brothers officials involved in the process. “I really do from the bottom of my heart. Other than that, I would not have been able to afford it.”
Vivian Jernigan, product development, was proud of the accomplishment too.
“I think it’s awesome that this young man from Garland is going to represent us,” Jernigan said. “And I think it’s awesome that Brooks Brothers did that for him.”
The local youth was excited about Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai being the keynote speaker. The teen human rights activist from Pakistan is the co-founder of the Malala Fund, an organization dedicated to promoting education for girls throughout the world.
In addition to the upcoming accomplishment, Frederick is currently an alumnus of the Junior National Young Leaders Conference and Union’s Beta Club, an organization for fourth through 12-grade students. Its purpose is “to promote the ideals of academic achievement, character, leadership and service among elementary and secondary school students.”
Katie Herring, a special order specialist, added that it was an amazing accomplishment.
“It’s a part of history being made and I’m glad to be a part of it,” Herring said.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.