Touring through Washington, DC during the NCSL conference.

ImageI was glad to have been able to have some free time to go on a tour around Washington, DC during the National Center for Student Leadership conference (NCSL). I felt I have learned more from being there, on that tour, than I’ve ever had in any of my history classes throughout my whole academic career. There is something about being physically there that just makes you retain more information and seek more knowledge about different things. Such as, did you know that George Washington laid cornerstones to the U.S Capitol Building but died before it was finished? Our tour guide was knowledgable and provided us with the substantial amount of information. I mean, I feel as though I can now probably answer some questions on jeopardy! Kidding, kind of.
ImageThe only complaint that I have really have about this tour is that we were on a strict time limit; I was pretty upset about not being to walk closer towards the Capitol Building because we had to get back on the bus to get to another stop. I have this weird thing where I want to actually physically touch the building to feel complete. Is that weird? Probably so but it gives me this weird I’m touching history feeling and not being able to walk up there– it made me pretty annoyed.

ImageAhh, the White House. I remember in fourth grade, I looked up how many rooms there are in the White House and when I learned that there were 132 rooms..my initial thoughts were, “holy cow, I feel bad for the person who has to mop those floors!”. As I got older, my concern for the cleanliness of the house is not as apparent but what is is my desire to live in this house one day. Whether I marry a President or become President– I will live in the White House.

The rest of the tour consisted of walking around different memorial sites and I can’t even begin to explain to you how each site touched me differently. What broke my heart was seeing the Vietnam Memorial wall face to face. Knowing that every name listed is a life gone too soon (or missing in action) is unsettling. The worst is while I’m standing there, teary eyed, staring at these names– I hear a teenage say, “I know veterans are people who are dead….sooooo how do you know which of these names are people who are dead?” I was so mortified by her statement because of her tone of voice as she said it. She was completely nonchalant and did not really seem to care about her surroundings. Her ignorance is truly what scares me for the future because she is our future. TEACH YOUR KIDS!
ImageImageImageOne of the best things about all this is experiencing DC with some of the best people. My fellow student senates and I were able to get closer because this trip. It’s nice to be able to be with a group of motivated, energetic people that have a thirst for knowledge and life. They funniest bunch of turds. If anyone ever has the opportunity to go to DC– I would definitely recommend taking the tour but also be sure to take the time to walk around and experience it for yourself without the group. There were moments where I wished that I was able to just take a moment to let everything sink in but because there was a time constraint.. it made it difficult.

Pictures by @photographybysarahm

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Mass Pencils of Promise

This is the video that I have recently submitted to this Online Philanthropy Contest called GenerousU for my school. This contest gives students the opportunity to present their charity, in hopes of gaining money donated towards their cause. My cause is being a part of this nonprofit organization called Pencils of Promise. The reason why this organization is so close to my heart is because I feel that education is one of biggest factor that we can use to change the world. There are so many problems in this world and we fail to see that most of those problems comes from the lack of a good education. There are more than 57 million children who doesn’t have access to an education. I know that being from a country where we often time take for granted all the things that other countries lack– education should not be one of them. I truly believe that if we could help affect children’s life through the means of an education, it allows them the opportunity to learn things and be empowered to become outstanding individuals.  “We’ve learned that education is a living, breathing entity that with the right nurturing, evolves into something spectacular. We’ve learned that every piece of its growth is a challenge and that each pencil, each dollar, each volunteer is essential”.

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IMG_8442With the conjoined efforts of many of my friends and staff at school, we are able to bring awareness of the importance of education to not only ourselves but also to the world. This program can help build a school in countries such as Guatemala, Laos, and Ghana. You never know what might be trapped inside the mind of someone who cannot afford an education. By simply caring about them and doing something that seems so insignificant, we can change their entire future and that is truly empowering. So many people have already joined this cause, I want to be able to be a part of something that goes above and beyond just simple donations. This also promotes the belief that in order to change the perspective of the greater people then we must first start with the children.

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They always say that “children are the future”. I think it’s time that we start taking that statement seriously. We can impact lives by just taking the initiative to do something.

Please join us in the efforts of raising awareness for educational opportunities for all. You can help by voting for our project here on TrueHero— where all that you have do is simply put in your email to vote, then validate it once the link it sent to your email. Or you can help us reach our goal in sponsoring a classroom by donating to our fundraising page. Or simply share this post!

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photos by Shawn Pearce
video by Rob Mills