This spring some of Mingo Central’s AP and Honors students plan to visit our nation’s capital, Washington D.C, through Junior Tours. All of the participating students are excited for the trip which will take place March 11th through March 14th, the weekend beginning spring break.
Head organizer of the trip, AP and Honors math teacher Brandon Cline, said he has been hoping to lead a trip to Washington D.C for quite some time. “I had never been to D.C, but I think it is something everyone should experience, and I am eager to experience it alongside my students, many of whom will be witnessing it for the first time as well.”
One such student is McKenna Blankenship, a sophomore at Mingo Central, “I have never been to D.C. before, and I am so excited to learn about the history of our country! I have always wanted to go, and I’d have to say I’m most excited to visit Arlington National Cemetery”
Many students like Blankenship have never ventured out so far before for a school trip though. “I’ve been on a class trip to King’s Island before,” said Blankenship. “Mingo Central had a trip there last year, but it was nowhere near as far away. It was still a great trip and experience though, so I cannot wait to see how amazing this is going to be.”
Other students though have travelled with Central to New York City. Jessica Sturgell said, “I went to New York last year, and I still maintain that that city is the greatest in the world. It was a phenomenal experience that really opened my eyes to how big the world is. I cannot wait to see Washington D.C. up close in the same way. There’s tons of historical value to it, and I’d say it’s probably the most well-known place in the U.S.”
“As well, though, I think being a senior makes this trip even more important than New York. It’s a chance to create memories with my friends before we have to part ways for college. This is a really unique opportunity, and I am so excited for it.”
However, amid all of this excitement is also some financial concern. The trip costs $650 a person, and all of the money is due by February 1st. “We’ve held a lot of fundraisers from selling Rada Cutlery knives to pizza kits to Mary Kay lipsticks,” said Blankenship. “They’ve all helped out tremendously. So many families are struggling, and it makes me so happy to know people have wanted to help us out and aid in making a dream come true for so many kids!” Blankenship currently owes $275, and is signed up to sell spaghetti dinners in the school’s final fundraiser.
“As a group, we still owe $5,000, but payments are still being made,” said Cline. “We are collecting orders for spaghetti dinners to be sold on Saturday the 30th. We really need to raise anything leftover then. If anyone would be interested, the dinners are $7 a piece, and you can place an order by calling 304-784-9262.”
“Help from the community is honestly the only way I could go on this trip,” said Sturgell. “Without it, I most probably would not get to go because of worries about money. Donations and participation in our fundraisers mean the world to me, because this trip is something I do not want to miss out on.”
“Trips like this are not about the school or the teachers. They are about the students,” said Cline. “I don’t spend my time on fundraisers and asking for donations for me. I do it because every penny helps a student enjoy the weekend of a lifetime, and as a teacher, the students are always what’s important.”
(Faith Hensley is a student at Mingo Central High School and free lance contributing writer for the Williamson Daily News.)