Andrean grad works as event planner for President Barack Obama

2012-06-13T19:00:00Z 2012-06-14T23:13:35Z Andrean grad works as event planner for President Barack ObamaBy Chelsea Schneider Kirk, (219) 933-3241

Lynn Tyburski knew her daughter aspired to one day become an event planner.

She just never imagined the president of the United States as her daughter's client.

Valerie Tyburski, a Hammond native and 2007 Andrean High School graduate, works as a White House advance associate.

She serves on a team that coordinates President Barack Obama's travel schedules. The team also is responsible for acting as a liaison between the president and the different entities who travel with him.

“We never thought she would have this type of experience,” Lynn Tyburski said. “For her to have this responsibility at her age is unbelievable.”

Valerie Tyburski, 23, travels weekly for work, and her job has taken her across the nation from Philadelphia to Hawaii and internationally to Bali. She has interacted directly with Obama and members of his senior staff.

“It's kind of shocking at times,” Tyburski said. “You have 'pinch me' moments.”

As a student at Ball State University, Tyburski was an intern in the White House Department of Scheduling and Advance in summer 2010. She returned to her travel duties after graduating in 2011.

For trips, Tyburski arrives before Obama and works to make sure his schedule goes smoothly until he departs.

“We are the ones who visualize what he needs to do and make it happen on the ground,” Tyburski said.

Tyburski credits her family members for their support and the Hammond College Bound Program as reasons she could apply for the White House Internship Program in the first place. College Bound offers scholarships to students of Hammond homeowners.

Tyburski said the financial support gave her the flexibility to save money and take part in an unpaid internship program.

“It was a great thing for me, and I know a lot of other Hammond residents as well,” Tyburski said.

When she's not traveling, Tyburski splits her time between her sister's home in Washington, D.C., and her parents' house in Hammond.

Jim Clark, who taught Tyburski when she was at Andrean, said her working at the White House doesn't surprise him.

"She's one of those people once she decides to do something, she's going to get it done," Clark said. "What a cool thing to be doing."

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