Marcela Pinos Sets Up Website To Fund Trip And The People Respond In Droves

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There may not be 1.5 million people facing the U.S. Capitol when President Barack Obama is inaugurated once again. The projected attendance is about half of what it was four years ago.

However, as CBS 2’s Steve Langford reported Thursday, some are determined to attend the president’s swearing-in.

For 16-year-old Marcela Pinos, a daughter of Ecuadorian immigrants, her dream of attending a student conference in Washington for the inauguration of the president appeared to be out of reach.

“My family could not afford the total price of the conference, the 11th grader from the Bronx said.

But some things, it seems, are just meant to be.

Pinos will be going to President Obama’s second inauguration in Washington, thanks to a lot of help from people she doesn’t even know.

“I raised $3,290,” she said.

On a website called complete strangers hearing about the teenager’s D.C. dream responded with extraordinary generosity.

“I wanted to make an impact,” said Michele Giordano, who made a donation of $500 to help send Pinos to Washington for five days. “It makes me feel great. I’m really glad she’s going.”

Pinos’ mother, who came to this country 16 years ago, said she was so grateful, so proud.

“We jumped. We cry. We were so excited. It was a wonderful moment,” Mariela Torres said. “I’m so happy and so thankful for all the money these people donated [that] my daughter needs for this trip.”

Pinos, who has never been to Washington or any other state, will fly to D.C. on Saturday.

“At the beginning when we couldn’t get any donations there were tears of sadness, but then towards the end when we received the total cost there were tears of joy and excitement because I was finally going to achieve a dream come true,” she said.

The American dream.

One New Jersey man alone donated a little more than $1,700 to help send the Bronx teen to the inauguration.

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