Today was another busy day in the life of a Citizenship Tour student!
We were up early and out the door to start our mornings with a tour of the Capitol– seeing where Abraham Lincoln’s desk used to be, rubbing our feet on lucky stones, and learning all kinds of information about our nation’s capital that we never knew before.
We then headed to a meeting with Representative Lee Zeldin, enjoying the balmy DC weather along the way. Representative Zeldin talked to us about the trajectory of his career, his family, and how he still gets a special feeling when he sees the Capitol and thinks of the work that takes place there.
Next, we had an amazing and inspiring conversation with Senator Corey Booker, Senator Heidi Heitkamp, and Senator Tim Scott. They motivated us with their success stories, all of which were fraught with challenges and set backs, and which reminded us that sometimes the odds are against us, but this never means we should give in. Instead, we should keep our goals in mind, try a different idea, and reach another three inches higher.
Students then had the opportunity to meet some amazing urban squash supporters at a reception at Squash on Fire. Here students had the opportunity to talk to Evan Osnos, a journalist from The New Yorker (As well as the evening’s keynote speaker) and learn more about what good leadership looks like, what it means to speak up, and just how important the voices of American youth are in creating change.
Finally, students ended the evening by debriefing about their experiences on the tour. And, before anyone else asks, yes, we do need to go home tomorrow. However, we will go home tomorrow as different people– people with new friends, people with new perspectives on life, people with renewed senses of purpose, and, people who appreciate and truly understand the importance of giving back and being a citizen of a country with so many opportunities and so much potential.
While tomorrow will mark the end of Citizenship Tour 2018, it will also mark the beginning of the changes that our Citizenship Tour students will bring their families, their communities, and their country.