Washington, D.C. #1: Excited for the Journey Ahead

For the next couple of days, 11 students and two faculty trip leaders, David Miller and Kena Chavva, will be based out of Washington, D.C. to learn about democracy and civic life in action. Students will engage in topics of debate, advocacy, and role of museums, non-profit organizations, and government in telling and authoring the American story. On the train ride to D.C., trip leaders ask students to reflect on the following prompt: What are you hoping to learn more about on this trip? Below, trip leaders share students responses:

Sarah Sookoo ’26 – I am hoping to learn more about different perspectives on political issues from real people. Even if I hear about them on social media, most of those people are constructed and trying to shape themselves into someone else, so It would be interesting to try and understand other people face to face.

Isaac Bakare ’24 – I’m hoping to learn more about how dialogue between the two major parties became so degenerate.

Kwasi Adu-Gyamfi  ’26 – I am hoping to learn more about the people in power between the two political parties and their views on country and worldwide problems.

John Woo  ’26 – I am hoping to learn more about the governmental and decision making structures of the country that I will spend my high school years in. I also wish to explore the numerous interest groups at play in American politics. 

Ryan Bai ’26 –  I want to know what perspective I should hold in political discussions. How to find the balance between participation and observation, and how to participate and observe.

Rich Zhou ’26 – I am curious to learn more about the interior of the White House, the way the RNC works, and the way parties manipulate voters.

Abigail Ng ’25 –  I am curious about the role politics and government play in shaping the face of this nation both at home and abroad. In particular, I want to explore how the government views civic dialogue keeping in mind obstacles such as economic barriers stopping them from making proposed reforms. 

Dasha Lukyanenko ’25 – Demagogue and democracy often have more in common than just a Greek root. I am curious about what kinds of actions people in politics, journalism, and non-profits take to insure it’s not true.

Gracie Spencer ’25 – I am hoping to learn more about all the many different forms of political parties and what they represent. I also often only hear about the distinct differences between the democratic and republican parties, but are they similar in some ways?

Max Pang ’26 – I hope to learn how to improve my skill sin civic discussion and to learn about how politicians figure out how to balance out different issues in the country.

Alisa Stepchuk ’23 – I want to learn more about advocacy to apply this knowledge in advocating for Ukraine while I’m in the United States.