NORTH ADAMS -- After attending the presidential inauguration and two conferences this January, Drury High School eighth-grader Billy Galipeau has done more in a month than many students do in a year.
The 14-year-old recently attended the Presidential Inaugural conference in Washington, D.C., and Gov. Deval Patrick's Project351 in Boston.
Last week, Galipeau and his mother, Susan, met with Mayor Richard Alcombright to update the mayor on his travels.
From Saturday, Jan. 19 to Wednesday, Jan. 23, Galipeau joined more than 3,000 students in witnessing President Barack Obama taking the oath of office for his second term, and learned firsthand about the presidential campaigns, the electoral process and the presidency at three conferences for different age groups.
Galipeau and others were treated to keynote speakers Barbara Pierce Bush and Jenna Bush Hager, daughters of former president George W. Bush. Also present was Michael Waldman, former speechwriter for President Bill Clinton.
"We spent a lot of time out of the hotel," Galipeau added. "We got to see a lot of the sites."
Sites on the tour included both Arlington Cemetery and the John F. Kennedy Memorial, and students were able to watch the inauguration on the lawn of the Washington Monument. Galipeau said seeing the security leading up to the inauguration was a memorable moment.
"We could see the Secret Service all along the street. They were everywhere," he said.
And less than a week after returning from Washington, Billy traveled to Boston for Project351. The daylong conference invites eighth-graders from around the commonwealth to take part in learning about service and leadership skills.
While in Boston, Galipeau and other students listened to a speech by Gov. Patrick and also performed volunteer work at the Pine Street Inn, a shelter that provides temporary and permanent accommodations for the homeless.
All of this was done with little time to rest.
"It was a long day. We left at 3 a.m., and I got back at 9:30 p.m.," he said.
Galipeau's mother said her son took much away from both conferences.
"And when he got off the plane from D.C., he went to play in a basketball game," she said.
Alcombright congratulated Galipeau on his achievements, and encouraged him to remain active in the community and pursue an education.
"You're the future of this county," Alcombright said.
To reach Edward Damon, email