Promises made. Promises kept.
That’s a slogan every politician or budding one aspires to keep.
On Monday, Jan. 13, Mariah White, the new student government president at Weeksville Elementary School, got to keep hers.
Mariah, 11, a fifth-grader at Weeksville, promised fellow students during her campaign speech that, if elected, she’d see to it that students eat McDonald’s for lunch on Mondays.
Mariah won the election and on Monday she honored her campaign pledge.
“It’s exciting and I’m very proud of myself,” she said, of being able to fulfill her promise. Providing nearly 200 students with McDonald’s meals was a vow she made with the utmost confidence.
“Of course,” Mariah replied, when asked if she really thought she’d be able to meet her commitment.
The McDonald’s meals were provided by Mariah’s father, Guap White, who is CEO of King Music Inc., and her mother, Sharice.
“We wanted to ensure that Mariah’s promise was fulfilled,” Guap White said.
Around 1:30 p.m., White’s parents arrived at the front entrance to Weeksville Elementary with $420 in McDonald’s food: 80 hamburgers, 80 cheeseburgers and 160 orders of small French fries. Five minutes later the familiar scent of McDonald’s fries filled the school’s media center.
Helping Mariah hand out the meals were her parents, her older brother, Justin, and younger brother, Desmond.
Her excited classmates laughed as they took their meals and hurried back to their classrooms to eat.
Weeksville Elementary Principal Stephanie Ambrose said the meals were a gift to the students from Mariah’s father. The meals did not replace students’ regularly scheduled school lunches, she said.
While Mariah’s campaign pledge was “McDonald’s Mondays,” Ambrose said the school will not be allowing students to eat fast food once a week.
“No, no, no,” she said. “Today and that’s that.”
Students receiving the meals were those in grades 3-5. That’s because those students are the ones who participate in student government elections, Ambrose said.
Guap White did say he’d like to see the McDonald’s meals expanded to other Elizabeth City-Pasquotank schools. He understands the school district’s concerns about providing students fast food.
“They don’t want to that’s fine,” he said. “We’re not going to push the schools into something they’re not receptive of.”
After all the meals were handed out, Mariah said she ran for class president because fifth-grade marked her last year at Weeksville. She said future campaigns for student government is something she may consider.
Her first venture into politics was an experience that taught her a valuable life lesson.
“Anything’s possible if you put your mind to it,” she said.