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The Capitol Building is one of the many destination of the Washington D.C. trip.

Washington D.C. Trip illustrates student role in government

This year, WHS is offering a June Academy trip to Washington D.C. where students will dive into an interactive program in which they will gain a better understanding of civics, democracy, and how our government functions.

While this opportunity has not been offered for a few years, it has finally returned and will be led by WHS teacher Moncrieff Cochran through the Close-Up Foundation Program. Cochran emphasized that this trip highlights how citizens tie into the government and affect our society.

“I think one of the big themes of the close-up foundation is to try to involve students more and help them see how they could be active citizens, not just passive citizens,” Cochran said.

Drawn to politics, sophomore Katherine Barlow said that she is attending this trip with the hopes of learning more about the inner workings of our government.

“I really am interested to see more about how each branch of government interacts with each other and especially how congress people actually make and pass laws,” Barlow said. “I think we’re going to dive into that process more and I want to learn something new from that.”

Included in the trip is a personal tour of the United States Capitol, where students will be able to meet their U.S. senators and members of the house. This special access to government drew students to the trip, including freshmen Katherine Grocela.

Grocela is most looking forward to learning more about how our government works.

“I am most looking forward to meeting with government officials and getting a closer look into our government, as well as getting professional options on different day to day issues,” Grocela said. “I am also very excited to take place in debates.”

This trip will also be attended by students from schools in several other states as it is organized by the Close-Up Foundations Program. Students will have the time to socialize with each other and make new friends during their time in Washington D.C.

“It’s a very scheduled program, but then there’s always this time for social activities in the evening. I think there’s a dance and there are dinners that they organize,” Cochran said. “So it’s a great combination of learning more about government and what’s going on, but also learning about what it’s like to be a teenager in other parts of the country.”

While this trip may appear to be exclusive to students with a strong enthusiasm for government, Cochran said that anyone, regardless of their level of interest in politics, will have a wonderful time.

“It’s a fun trip no matter what, D.C.’s an exciting, vibrant city,” Cochran said. “There’s a chance to visit colleges while you’re down there. There’s a chance to kind of see the city in a different light, not necessarily just geared towards government.”

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