During spring break, Social Studies Teacher Todd Manninen and seven other students took flight to Washington, D.C. to tour the major monuments and the D.C. area.
“Seeing all the different monuments and memorials made historic events more alive and real,” said Senior Kailee Steen.
After riding the train to the capitol, the group was in for a huge surprise when they had the chance to eat breakfast with Al Franken and meet Amy Klobuchar.
“Getting to meet our two senators was very interesting because the stereotypical politician is just this old guy in his mid 60s, balding, with white hair, but they are people,” said Freshman Carson Reichardt. “Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar are smart people. I mean to actually talk to them about what they thought about certain topics was really interesting.”
Other than getting to learn about the government, the group got the opportunity to observe the lifestyle of a neighborhood in D.C.
“Our bus was assigned to ninth street. We were supposed to observe the neighborhood and get something to eat,” said Reichardt. “It was a gentrified neighborhood, which means white people went through it and made it better and invested money into it. It was a very poor community beforehand and there’s still reminiscences of that.”
Through this experience, Steen and Reichardt learned many lessons they will use throughout their lives.
“I learned to be more of an active citizen because everyone’s voice matters and deserves to be heard,” said Steen. “Being active is the only way things will change.”
Students decided to take this journey for various reasons, from learning more about the government to seeing monuments they had learned about for so many years.
“I like politics and I wanted to learn more about them,” said Reichardt. “I thought visiting the nation’s capital was a great way to do that, and it was.”