The Institute was thrilled to bring our Student Legislative Seminars back to Washington, DC this spring. March 25-30 found us there with 11 students from Texas City High School, Texas, along with three school chaperones. This trip has been sponsored by the local Texas City Rotary Club every year now for twelve years (with the exception of course during the pandemic), but each year it is a brand-new experience for the students, many of whom are leaving home for the first time. This year two of the students were foreign exchange students – one from Spain and one from France. Their observations and perspectives truly enriched the experience for everyone!
The three issues the students chose were women’s rights (abortion), police reform (racism), and gun rights/violence. Prior to leaving for DC the students met with the local Chief of Police and the County Sheriff to hear their thoughts on police violence. Later in DC they studied the issues together, developed their statements, and met with Senate staff as well as with Representative Randy Weber, in whose district they live.
Of course, every Legislative Seminar also allows time for participants to explore all that DC has to offer – Union Station, the Mall, the many monuments and memorials, the Smithsonian, Arlington Cemetery and more. They explore the Library of Congress and get a tour of the Capitol while catching a glimpse of the Supreme Court.
The Texas City students were even fortunate enough to get a tour of the White House. Although we always put in a request for a tour, it rarely happens. This is only the third student group to get in since we started the student trips in 2007. Needless to say, it was a highlight for everyone!