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Trump's inauguration sparks action, hope among young Hillary supporters

 As a 16-year-old, Zora Ilunga-Reed wasn’t able to vote in the 2016 election, so when President-elect Donald Trump won, she felt powerless -- like she had no voice, she said.

“I was studying in D.C. and [the results] seemed like such a surprise to not only me, but everyone in my community,” she told CBS News.

The election results made her feel like she was living in a liberal bubble, she added. That’s what inspired her to go to the inauguration. 

Ilunga-Reed said throughout much of the election cycle, she has been surrounded by people who voted for Hillary Clinton, from her parents to her peers to people in her Manhattan community.  “I want to hear the voices of people who support this man,” she said. With about 800,000 to 900,000 people expected to attend the inauguration, according to officials, Ilunga-Reed hopes she’ll be able to meet some of the people who voted for him and broaden her perspective.

Zora Ilunga-Reed wasn’t a supporter of President-elect Donald Trump, but she is looking forward to the inauguration and believes it will be an opportunity to broaden her perspective of other Americans and the country. Zora Ilunga-Reed

“I am excited about the next four years, and also nervous,” Ilunga-Reed said. “I’m excited because I think there is a lot to learn from this. I think we’re going to change the way we see this country. I’ve only grown up with President Obama.”

As a biracial woman,  Ilunga-Reed said Mr. Obama was more to her than just the president. Seeing him in office was empowering. “It was powerful to see someone who looks like me be the president. I’m going to miss him, even though I never met him,” she said.

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Although Ilunga-Reed said she doesn’t necessarily look up to Mr. Trump, she does hope that as president he will remember to work for the people who elected him into office.

“I want him to know that running a country is not running a business,” she said. “People who benefit from your business are you and your family. But when you’re running a country, it’s not just your family, it’s millions of other families.”

Trump ‘sparked some kind of action’

Zaniya Lewis is worried about inauguration day. She’s an African American woman, her brother has a disability and her sister serves in the military. She said it feels like her family has been directly targeted by the president-elect’s messages while he was on the campaign trail.

“I feel like I have a lot at stake because of what Trump said,” she said.

This was the first time the 19-year-old voted and she chose Hillary Clinton on Election Day. She felt devastated when Clinton lost and was nervous about going back to class the next day at her D.C. school because she said her college is pretty conservative.

When she was back at school many of her peers were celebrating Trump’s victory. “Everyone was cheering and on the flip side there were so many people I knew who were crying. It felt like a war after the election. It was scary for me,” she said.

Zaniya Lewis hopes the Women’s March will be a “healing process,” and that Mr. Trump may have inspired some people to get more involved in politics. Zaniya Lewis

Now that the inauguration is days away, Lewis says she wants to be more involved in her community. She’s planning on going to the Women’s March on January 21, the day after the inauguration, joining thousands of others who are expected to attend .

“I think it will be a healing process for me as well. I think this march will help me heal and understand that my voice does matter,” Lewis said.

After President Obama’s farewell address in Chicago, Lewis says she was inspired to do something meaningful. “I think President Obama passed the baton to the American youth in his farewell speech when he said for us to not lose hope in the democratic process and to be involved,” she said.

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Although she was anxious when Mr. Trump won the election, she feels like his victory also helped bring people together, in a way.

“Trump winning the election really brought people to feel like they should go out there and change the world. In a way, he sparked some kind of action,” she said.

‘A place to feel better’

Like many young people on the eve of the election, Jilly Towson went to sleep thinking Hillary Clinton would win. When she woke up the next day, she says the world felt like it had flipped upside down.

As a 16-year-old, she felt like this election was taken away from her because she wasn’t allowed to vote. “It affects my future more because I’m younger, probably younger than some of his supporters,” she said.

Towson goes to a majority black high school and she says no-one seemed happy when Mr. Trump won the election. When she found out there was a women’s march, she felt a bit better. In fact, she felt relieved.

“It’s not supposed to change anything I think, I think it’s a place to feel better,” she said.

Jilly Towson plans to attend the Women’s March because she wants her voice to be heard. H. Cameron Campbell

The event is going to be a family affair. Towson is going with her sister, who is coming down from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and her mother, too.

Towson says she hopes she’ll meet people at the march who she can look up to as a role model, something she says she doesn’t feel with Mr. Trump.

“I don’t think he knows how many people look up to the president and go to you, not just Americans, but people from other country,” she said.

But she hopes he’ll constantly be thinking about the American people during his time in office.

“I want him to think about minorities as people, think about their families and their lives here. His choices may affect their lives forever.”

Editor’s note: Interviewees for this article were sourced in partnership with Clover, a daily email newsletter for girls, and independently interviewed by CBS News for this story.

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