When I ran into Damon Weaver in the Marriott lobby, standing tall, he looked me directly in the eye and shook my hand. His composure and professionalism outshined teenagers and college students whom I know. And before he jetted back to Florida on Friday, Damon sat down with The Root for an exclusive interview. Watch.

After the interview, Damon pushed aside some crayons and a place mat to color on, to douse his French fries with ketchup. And then I remembered he was just 11 years old. At his young age, you can see the tremendous impact that his mother and teachers have had on him. Maybe if there were more moms like Regina and more teachers like Brian Zimmerman, we could see a whole host of kids aspiring to be journalists, business owners, whale trainers, etc., etc. Until then, we can bask in the glimmer of Damon's young eyes and the bright future that's ahead of him. Congrats, Damon. I'm glad to be your homegirl.

Watch Damon's interview with the president:

--ERIN EVANS