What it's like to meet the president

A day after meeting President Joe Biden during his visit to McHenry County College in Crystal Lake, 4-year-old Travis Alexander remained excited about the experience.

“He shook my hand,” said Travis, of Crystal Lake.

Biden even posed for a photo with Travis at mom Briana Alexander's request.

"He was super nice,” she said of the president. “Travis has nonstop talked about it.”

Biden briefly met the Alexanders and other families who've participated in the children's learning center at the college, a day care center for MCC students who also are parents, during his visit to the campus Wednesday.

The president shook hands with parents and kids and chatted with a few. He also spoke of the importance of the campus child-care program, something he repeated during a speech a little while later.

That meant a lot to Tara Dean, a former MCC student from Genoa who brought her daughter, Makayla, to meet the president at the center.

Without the program, Dean said she wouldn't have been able to earn an associate degree last year. She's working toward a bachelor's degree now.

Dean shook Biden's hand, but Makayla was too shy to do so and stood behind her mom.

“It was really cute,” Dean said. “He was really good with the kids.”

Although no longer an MCC student, Dean was invited by the school for the presidential visit. She had to be tested for COVID-19 and submit to a security review first.

Meeting Biden was worth jumping through those hoops, though.

“It was an amazing opportunity,” she said.

Parent and MCC student Grace Schwartzlow of Wonder Lake shared a similar sentiment about the encounter, which she shared with her 3-year-old son, Camdyn.

“Political views aside, the president is the president,” Schwartzlow said.

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President Joe Biden speaks with Travis Alexander, 4, of Crystal Lake, and other children and their parents as he tours a children's learning center Wednesday at McHenry County College in Crystal Lake. AP Photo/Evan Vucci
President Joe Biden speaks to Lilyanee Quintana, 4, on Wednesday as he tours a children's learning center at McHenry County College in Crystal Lake. AP Photo/Evan Vucci
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