US Senator Harry Reid Meets with UNLV Upward Bound Students in Washington, D.C.

CenterPoint Newsletter | Summer 2014 | by James Archibald, UB Academic Counselor

The annual policy trip to Washington, D.C. allows participants to gain both historical and political knowledge. Ten Upward Bound participants, all Clark County high school students were selected to travel to D.C. for this year's trip. The students who were chosen to act as ambassadors of the program, are: Carline Benton (Veterans Tribute), Hermelinda Mejia (El Dorado HS), Jana Burd (Valley HS), Isabelle Munguia (Western HS), Deanna Kassa (Rancho HS), Giovanny Vazquez (Western HS), Jose Correa, Daniel Rakita (Canyon Springs HS), Jalen Jones (Desert Pines HS) and Fredrick Johnson (Silverado HS).

Many exciting opportunities were provided for the students during this improtant trip, including campus tours of American University, Georgetown University, and the University of Maryland in College Park. Ambassador Isabella Munguia was exteremly grateful for the tour of American University as it is a prospect for her undergraduate degree. During the five-day trip, the students enjoyed a great deal of sightseeing. Time was spent exploring the national mall, where they visited a number of national historic sites, including but not limited to, the Capitol Building, the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Wall, as well as the World War II, Lincoln, Washington, and Martin Luther King Jr. Memorials. Additionally, they visited Ford's Theater, Peterson's House, Madame Tussaud's Wax Muesum, and the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. The students viewed the blue, green, and red rooms of the White House, toured the Pentagon, and Arlington National Cemetery, where they visited the Tob of the Unknown Soldier, and viewed the Changing of the Guard.

The students and staff had the opportunity to meet and speak with Congresswoman Dina Titus, Congressman Mark Amodei, Congressman Steven Horsford, and Senator Harry Reid at the Cannon House Office Building. During these meetings, the students spoke about their personal stories of academic success and struggle, and how the Upward Bound program has assisted them in their journey. The government officials took the time to meet and take photos with each student to commemorate the experience. This opportunity was well received by Ambassador Carline Benton stating, "It's not ever day that students have the chance to speak with government officials about the needs of students."

While on the road and during meal times, the Upward Bound seniors were overheard talking about the exciting activies provided and shared stories of their experience in the Upward Bound program over the years, such as living in the UNLV dorms during the summer, Saturday academic sessions, counseling, tutoring, and building new relationships with their peers from other high schools.

Upon returning to Las Vegas, the students expressed their gratitude for being given the opportunity to see many historical sites, speak with goverment representatives, and visit campuses they may have never visited on their own. All students represented The Center, the Upward Bound Program, and themselves in the most respectable manner.

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