This year, the annual 13/14s trip to Washington D.C. took place from May 14-17. In addition to seeing all of the monuments, a performance of 1776 at Ford’s Theater, Georgetown, and many of the museums, the students met with several different political dignitaries. Here are a few highlights from their appointments:
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s discussion of why women make such effective leaders
Adam Liptak, the New York Times Supreme Court correspondent, spoke about the long lasting impact of Bush v. Gore
Congressman Eric Cantor’s response to one student’s question about faith and its role in governance
Congresswoman Yvette Clarke spoke forcefully about the government’s responsibility to protect and support the poorest members of our society
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney’s earnest appeal to the students that they carve out room in their lives for doing service
Ty Cobb, the Human Rights Campaign’s Senior Legislative Counsel, spoke about his role in helping to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
Meeting the former mayors of Trenton, NJ, Waco, TX, and Charlotte, NC through an organization called the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and hearing their stirring stories of leadership enacted on a local level
Ali McKersie, 13/14s Humanities Teacher, noted how deeply engaged the students were at every appointment and their poise when asking questions. Again and again, they heard the same feedback: “Wow! Are you sure these students aren’t really high school students in disguise?” They impressed the socks off of everyone they met!
The trip provided an opportunity for the students to see the federal government in action after studying it in depth during the school year.