WALTHAM (CBS) - It was the surprise of a lifetime Wednesday for a Waltham 7th grader; he's going to see the Pope. The 12-year-old won an essay contest for one of the hottest tickets in the nation. His topic was immigration, something that hits close to home.
Congresswoman Katherine Clark sponsored the essay contest. "Each member of Congress gets one ticket to bring a special guest to see the Pope," says Clark.
On Wednesday, she came to the McDevitt Middle School in Waltham to surprise the winner. "The 7th grader who inspired us, and delighted us is going to be my visitor, and he is, Dylan Lopez," Rep. Clark announced at a morning assembly.
Dylan's parents came to the United States from Argentina when that country's economy was in shambles. They're from the same city as the Pope. "It's a dream come true," Dylan told his classmates.
His essay praised Pope Francis for championing immigrants and the poor. Next Thursday Dylan will see Francis when the Pontiff addresses a joint session of Congress. "I want to speak to him about everything going on around the world, about the immigrants. They've been treated disrespectful," Dylan says.
In his essay, Dylan wrote that he wants to help fix that. "When he said it hurt his soul to see the plight of some immigrants and he really saw the Pope as a lighthouse for him, we found that a very powerful, powerful essay," says Rep. Clark. "We are all immigrants, no matter what. If we're American citizens, immigrants, whatever, we are all people," Dylan told us.
Dylan was born here in the US. This will be his first trip to Washington.
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