A Family's Journey to the Historic Inauguration

For Nikki Lecompte, 36, a mother of four from Houston, making the trip to Washington, D.C., for President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration was a given.

Even though she was laid off from her job as a project secretary at Shell Oil and the trip will be a financial strain for the family, Lecompte is determined to be a part of this moment in history.

"I know financially this is not something that I can imagine," she said. But, "I said I was going to do whatever I had to do. If I had to beg on street corners, I was going to try to find a way to get to D.C."

With a deep pride in her African-American history, Lecompte's journey is a tribute to earlier generations that fought for change. Her grandmother's first husband was lynched and murdered by racists, and her parents were raised during segregation.

Nikki Lecompte
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"My parents couldn't eat at the lunch counter, and when they were born, they were in separate nurseries [from white children]," she said. "For me, it is very important for me to kind of [be] bridging the gap between my parents' generation and my kids' generation."

Watch "World News with Charles Gibson" TUESDAY at 6:30 p.m. ET to see her full trip, and follow her progress toward Washington on the "World Newser" blog.

Lecompte grew up during the 1970s and remembers wishful chatter in the schoolyard about "the first black president" as nothing more than a far-off dream.

"It just has major significance that now, even on the national level, we are seeing that transition, that acceptance, that change," she said.

Lecompte said she's excited to embrace the change that is coming to America and the opportunity it represents for her kids.

During the election campaign, she saw her kids engaged in the political process -- staying up late to watch the debates and soak in history.

"There can be a million schools built in my kids' life and they will never get the lesson they will learn by going to the inauguration," she said.

That's why, even though the trip will be a financial hardship on her family, Lecompte is gearing up to go -- packing a cooler and making sandwiches for the trip ahead of time to cut costs. She'll share a hotel room in the Washington area with her stepsister.

Starting Saturday morning at 5:00 a.m., "World News" will follow the Lecomptes as they make the drive to Washington -- stopping along the way in New Orleans to visit the grave of Nikki Lecompte's mother, and then all the way to the inauguration of President-elect Obama.

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