Student Perspectives: Oh, The Places We Went!

Martin Luther King Memorial

For me, the Washington Week experience served as a call to action: to campaign for justice and equality, to seek creative and inclusive solutions, and to use my talents for the betterment of my nation. Devyn Rigsby, IL – 2015

Arlington Cemetery

The most impactful experience of my week was on the last day walking through the Arlington National Cemetery. I saw rows upon rows of headstones lined up with military precision as though their soldier occupants were standing guard even after death. I thought about how every name carved into those stones had a whole life behind it. Yet they now stood united as one, because everyone in that cemetery had shown how much they cared. Jenna Wong, MA – 2015


We visited many memorials and historically important buildings. However, my favorite place was the Newseum. As the title suggests, the Newseum is a museum focused on the history of news. As the official tagline goes: There’s more to every story. Indeed, there is! As the delegates roamed the floors, we learned the history of the news, the struggle of attaining free press, and the background stories to each Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph throughout the years. I was reminded that we as United States citizens are very lucky to have the freedom that we currently possess. Elsa Knight, NE – 2015

Department of State

There is one location that will stand out as my favorite for as long as I live: the Department of State. I distinctly remember being incredulous as to whether I was really there; it felt like a dream. The diplomatic reception rooms reminded me of a European palace, decorated with opulent furnishings and radiating grandeur. I’m pretty sure I shed a few tears when I saw the desk on which the Treaty of Paris was signed. Daniel Green, IN – 2015

Mount Vernon

One of the highlights of the trip was our visit to Mount Vernon, and the wreath-laying ceremony held there. The natural beauty and historical significance of that place is enthralling, especially when entering Washington’s home. Reid Rubsam, OR – 2015

The United States Senate and The Hearst Foundations’ brilliantly ring Washington Week with a visit to George Washington’s tomb at the beginning and a visit to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the end. It struck me right then and there that from the greatest known of America’s public servants to the least known and nameless public servant, each man and woman deciding to be a public servant offers up his or her life for our country in the service of others. That was a true moment of growth and it was transformative for me to realize I am willing to do just that. This is yet another thing for which I am grateful. Dallas McCash, TN – 2015