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Dudley grad introduces President Obama before UNC speech

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Students at UNC-Chapel Hill have been congratulating Domonique Garland all day.

"Oh my God Domonique! I'm so proud of you," said Lola Bajomo, a senior at UNC Chapel Hill.

At UNC's Carmichael Arena, in front of 7,000 people, Garland, a senior at UNC, had the rare opportunity to introduce President Barack Obama.

"To get to this point where it's like all of a sudden you're able to present for the president, people are recognizing you for something. It's a very honorable experience and a very humbling experience all at the same time," Garland said.

Garland is a Dudley High School graduate. She is paying for her tuition with federal student loans and centered her speech around that topic.

The interest rate on a Federal Student loan will double if Congress doesn't take action by July 1st. Obama told the crowd at Carmichael that he is pushing to freeze the rate.

Besides courting younger voters who voted for him in 2008, Obama spoke at UNC because North Carolina is a battleground state.

Even though Garland is graduating this summer, her sister faces the higher interest rate when she enrolls at UNC this fall.

"If interest rates were to double, that would mean that many students who would love to and deserve to take part in extracurricular activities would have to work or live at home instead of having that college experience," Garland said while giving her speech at UNC.

Garland said she met Obama just moments before she gave the speech.

"At first you're like, 'Oh my gosh, it's the president,' but then he was so jovial and down-to-earth that I was like, 'OK, Hello,' like an old family member. So it was very comforting," Garland said.

Garland can only describe her experience as surreal. She's not sure exactly how she got picked, but it's a moment she'll cherish forever.

"All I know is I was very blessed to have this opportunity," said Garland.

Obama traveled to Colorado after his speech at UNC.

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