While it’s tough to top a trip on to the House floor on Monday, we tried to make Tuesday even more exciting. We started the day with a jaunt over to the White House, so the students could see where the President lives! (Unfortunately, President Obama was in Latin America while we were in D.C., but it was still cool to see his house from the outside.)

Being an American Essay Contest winners standing in front of the White House - Bill of Rights Institute

Next, we took the students to go visit the offices of their Representatives in Congress. I went with Ryan Shymansky, who was able to meet his Congressman, Jason Altmire from Pennsylvania’s 4th District. Representative Altmire had created a certificate of achievement to award to Ryan to congratulate him on being a finalist–how cool!

Ryan Shymansky and Representative Altmire from Pennsylvania pose in Congress - Bill of Rights Institute

All the students had a different experience meeting the staff working to represent their districts–one of our students, while talking to a House staff member from his district, found out that they had both graduated from the same high school! The student winners also loved seeing and exploring the underground tunnels that connected each of the Congressional office buildings. (Did you know that there are salons and shopping in those tunnels, too?)

After the trip to the House offices, we had lunch in the Cannon building with some Congressional staff members and a great speaker, Matthew Spalding. The students got to feel like they were actual “Hill Staffers” for a day!

Being an American Essay Contest winners in the Cannon Building of Congress - Bill of Rights Institute

Our last destination before the Being an American Essay Contest Gala was the National Museum of American History, where students got the chance to look at the exhibits on Abraham Lincoln, the First Ladies’ dresses, the history of war in the United States, and more! After the museum, the students were anxious for dinner and to find out who won the $5,000 of prize money for First Place essays, so we went back to the hotel to freshen up for the Gala.

Posted in Staff Updates


One Response to “Being an American Essay Contest: Day 3!”

  1. Alana says:

    I’m really enjoying these updates, it seems like such a great trip/prize. I had a few students enter this year but next year I’m going to try to give the essay as a class assignment. Maybe we’ll see you in ’12!

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