From the Belle Glade Sun, Aug. 20, 2009
Weaver lands Obama interview
By Naji Tobias
After multiple requests to interview President Barack Obama, the 11-year-old's plea was answered last week.
Amazingly, Damon was able to fly to the nation's capital and have an exclusive sit-down session with the U.S. president on Thursday, Aug. 13.
Now forever etched in Weaver's short journalism history, Damon is reportedly the youngest person to interview President Obama.
Here are some excerpts of the YouTube clip, which lasted for 10 minutes and 21 seconds:
"How are you sir, nice to meet you," President Obama said to Damon as he walked into the Diplomatic Room of the White House. "You look good, man, in your suit."
On Damon's biggest stage to date, he came well-prepared with interview questions for the president, which focused mostly on education.
President Obama told Damon that on Sept. 8, when most of America's children go back to school, he'll be making a speech specifically geared toward young people in efforts to encourage them to stay in school and how the school systems across the country can improve.
Damon to President Obama: "All across America, money is being cut from education. How can education be improved with all these cuts?
"We, actually, here in the Administration, tried to put more money in schools and there a lot of schools across the country getting new buildings and facilities,"
President Obama said in response.
"We're now putting more money into training good teachers and giving them more support. We think it's important to put more money in the schools, but money alone is not going to make a difference.
"We need to improve on how the schools are operating. I hope we can see some improvement not only with money, but also in reforming how the schools work."
Damon got President Obama to dig even deeper in his education initiative, as he wanted to know how less than privileged areas such as Pahokee - Damon's hometown - will receive future state and federal assistance.
"I want to see states be more fair in terms of how they give money to schools around their communities," Obama said.
"I do think it's important how we can find help from the federal government for schools that need the most help."
Obama on educational opportunities for kids across the country:
"Parents are the most important thing to any child's ability to do well in school," Obama said to Damon.
"So, making sure that you're reading to your child, especially when they're young, even before they get to school, so that they start getting used to reading.
"I think it's important to make sure that kids are doing their homework and not just playing video games. I think all children can do well as long as they have the support they need."
Damon pressed Obama on what needs to be done to improve school lunches.
"There's a lot of french fries, pizza, tater tots and all kinds of stuff that isn't a well-balanced meal. We want to make sure we have more fruits and vegetables in the school.
Kids may not end up liking it so much, but it'll be heathier for them."
In an unintentionally funny sequence, Damon suggested that there were french fries and mangoes everyday for lunch.
"I'm not sure we can get mangoes in every school because they only grow in hot temperatures. There are a lot of schools up north that don't have mango trees."
Later on in the interview, Damon asked President Obama what it's like to be president.
"It's very exciting, it's a lot of work," Obama responded.
Damon recently told this reporter in a telephone interview that he would invite Obama to come to the Glades and visit Canal Point Elementary School.
Is President Obama actually interested? "Well, I hope that at some point, I get a chance to come visit your school because you did a great job at this interview," Obama said to Damon.
And for that, Obama is now Damon's 'homeboy' too, just like Vice President Joe Biden.
To see the rest of the video, you could visit the Internet at www.youtube.com.
From the Belle Glade Sun, JUNE 11, 2009
Weaver is the nation's top Shortie - Kid reporter hopes President Obama will come to the Glades
By Naji Tobias
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Damon Weaver has officially cemented his status as a bonafide journalist sensation.
He felt 'very good' about going to Washington, D.C. for a second time last weekend after picking up a national honor for daily news reporting.
Damon is now a Shortie Award winner-he was selected as a honoree in the Elementary School category.
KEC TV, the media outlet for Canal Point Elementary School, won the national award for best daily news reporting in the Elementary School category.
Damon, through KEC TV, has interviewed the likes of Dwayne Wade, Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald, Oprah Winfrey, Samuel L. Jackson, LL Cool J, and most famously, Vice President Joe Biden, which likely clinched the award for the kid reporter.
HB TV, out of Arlington, Va., was the other finalist.
Vice President Biden sent Damon a congratulatory letter, which was read at the companied by his mother, Regina Weaver, his media instructor, Brian Zimmerman and his principal, LaVoise Smith in the weekend trip to the nation's capital.
More exposure for Damon
Though Damon was 'surprised and lucky about winning a Shortie Award', it may not have been his only victory.
According to Zimmerman, it looks like Damon's chances of interviewing President Barack Obama may have increased after meeting Corey Ealons, the communications director for the U.S. president.
Ealons, who's also the media director for the Black News Media Group, took Damon and his party on a tour of the White House last Saturday (June 6), the day of the Shortie Awards.
They saw the West Wing of the Oval office, the location where President Obama 'builds his business on', as told by Zimmerman.
The foursome also got the chance to tour the White House press secretary's office, the location where Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, organizes the national media to hold interviews and press conferences with President Obama.
To conclude the hour-long viewing of the White House, the group toured the Rose O'Donnell and Chris Matthews, who's the host of the popular commentary show 'Hardball'.
With all the media attention Damon's been getting over the past year - he even was recently offered a full scholarship to Albany State University (Ga.) - he's confident that President Obama will grant him his wish.
As a matter of fact, Damon said he wouldn't be surprised if President Obama one day comes to visit his hometown of Pahokee.
FROM THE BELLE GLADE SUN, NOV. 12, 2009
Pahokee son Damon Weaver appears on international television - Kid reporter also gains opportunity to star in Veteran's Day telecast
By Naji Tobias
CANAL POINT - Damon Weaver's international profile has grown ever stronger as of late.
Not long after interviewing President Barack Obama, the pint sized reporter appeared on a Middle Eastern television network.
Live from a YouTube clip, Weaver was reportedly a guest on an Arabic show called Al Youm, a telecast that regularly airs in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
In the interview, Weaver is reportedly talking about his experience with the internationally acclaimed interview with President Obama.
The clip, meanwhile, focuses squarely on Weaver's final words, which talks about his desire for peace not only in the Glades, but throughout the world.
"Before I am done, I would like to say there is a lot of violence in the town that I live in," Weaver said in the interview.
"I have tried to help my town by creating a report for ABC News about the violence that occurs there. When I watch the news, I am always hearing about the violence that happens in the Middle East. I just hope that everyone in the world can get along and let's have peace in the Middle East."
To end his plea for world peace, Weaver used the 'peace' sign on both of his hands sideways to emphasize that point.
Brian Zimmerman, the media director for KEC-TV, was thoroughly impressed by Weaver's latest accomplishments.
"Damon has been the eyes and ears of his fellow Canal Point students since he brought the 2008 elections to the school," Zimmerman said. "It's never been about Damon Weaver, even though he's been the face of our school message."
Now moving forward, Weaver embarked on yet another networking opportunity last night.
He appeared in a Veteran's Day telethon, co-hosting the holiday event with Ben Vereen.
Weaver and Vereen used the Internet broadcast to assist in raising funds for the nation's veterans and active soldiers currently fighting for the U.S. in wars against Iraq and Afghanistan.
According to Zimmerman, the 24-hour broadcast began at 12:01 a.m. yesterday (Nov. 11).
"The telethon started early because it was also being broadcast on GI radio to our troops in the Middle East," Zimmerman said. "Besides being on air with Ben Vereen, Damon created special reports about our veterans that were shown throughout the telethon."
The SOS Support Our Soldiers telethon reportedly benefits five national charities and a local South Florida organization.
According to Zimmerman, the local organization, Hope-Faith-Love-Charity, Inc. and its 'Stand Down House' was chosen to honor Roy Foster, the first CNN Hero of 2009, for his efforts on behalf of homeless veterans.
The five national organizations, Zimmerman said, are The Fisher House Foundation, Wounded Warrior Project, Vietnam Veterans of America, Operation Mend, and the Korean Veterans Association of America.
For more information on the telethon, you could visit the Internet at www.supportoursoldiers.org.
Damon Weaver was featured on a special program about gun violence.
Damon Weaver also interviewed other famous people including: