More than two dozen HISD students spend memorable week in nation’s capital 

Thanks to Washington, D.C.’s Workshops Foundation and The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America, 27 HISD students spent a week in the nation’s capital learning about leadership, civic education, domestic and global politics, and American culture.

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Cruise Industry Charitable Foundation in partnership with the Workshops Foundation 

Nearly two dozen HISD students won scholarships to attend the 2016 Democracy in Action Seminar for high school students in late June sponsored by the Cruise Industry Charitable Foundation in partnership with the Workshops Foundation. Two chaperones also attended at no charge: HISD Secondary Teacher of the Year Christina Carter-Woods (seventh-grade reading teacher at Pershing Middle School) and University of Texas at Austin Outreach Center Counselor Jeaneene Maxie.

“This trip is a must for anyone interested in political science or the art of policy making,” said Carnegie Vanguard High School rising-junior Amanda Feldman. “I was able to fully experience life as a congressperson trying to simultaneously represent her constituents at home while creating a bill that others would agree with.”

The scholarship covered the students’ airfare, room and board at American University, and a week of on-site study of the U.S. Congress, including an opportunity to meet elected officials, hear bipartisan lectures, and attend panel discussions on policy issues. The week ended with a dinner-cruise awards banquet.

Since 1967, the Workshops Foundation has provided experience-based educational travel programs to highly motivated, academically prepared students from across the U.S. and around the world.

The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America

Thanks to another Workshops Foundation partners, four HISD students won an all-expenses-paid trip to D.C. to participate in a weeklong seminar, thanks to their winning essays for The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America. The winners were Im Chandararith and Ruby Rapalo from Sam Houston Math, Science, and Technology Center; Esmeralda Ibarra from Northside High School; and Jazmin Rosas from Westbury High School.

The four students received airfare and full tuition, which included seminar materials, university campus housing, meals, a week of citizenship education about the national government, and tours of noteworthy sites in Washington, D.C.

Nancy Moore, who oversees the Houston Chapter of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America, worked with HISD’s College Readiness Dept. on the project. This year’s essay topic was “2016 marks the 240th anniversary of the Virginia Declaration of Rights penned by George Mason of Gunston Hall; why does this historic document remain relevant today?”

“Congratulations to HISD for having seven of the top 10 essays out of 37 entries from Houston,” said Moore. Runners-up will receive a small prize.

Founded in 1891, NSCDA’s mission is to inspire all people to understand and honor the origins of the U.S. By promoting respect for the people, places, and events that led to the formation and development of the country, they hope to inspire patriotism and foster awareness and understanding.