A group of eight Mount St. Mary students spent the week of January 19-25 in Washington, D.C., experiencing the institutions and iconic sites that embody our nation’s past and present through the Close Up experiential learning program.
Highlights of the group’s week-long adventure in the nation’s capital included visiting the U.S. Capitol, Supreme Court Building, Library of Congress, FBI Headquarters, International Spy Museum, Arlington National Cemetery and Holocaust Memorial Museum. In addition to touring landmark buildings and famous monuments and memorials, the students were able to participate in debates and a Mock Congress, discuss current issues with participating students from other states, witness public demonstrations firsthand, and visit their Congressmen’s offices. The timing of this year’s trip also provided the unique opportunity to visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on MLK Day.
“I enjoyed meeting new people from all around the country through Close Up, and I learned so much while visiting all of the museums, monuments and memorials that make Washington, D.C., as important as it is,” senior Vivian Marrero said. “It has definitely changed my outlook on politics and civic engagement forever.”
This year the group also enjoyed the special privilege of visiting with several Mount St. Mary alumnae currently residing in the D.C. area. Liz Beadle ’09, a director at The Glover Park Group, helped organize the meeting at the strategic communications and government relations firm’s Washington office. The time together gave students the opportunity to hear about different professions in the nation’s capital and learn about what it’s like living there.
“I really liked meeting some of the alumnae who live and work in Washington, D.C., or the surrounding area,” sophomore Josie Landrum said. “It was cool to hear how each alumna got to D.C., and it showed me that living there might be something I’d be interested in one day.”
This is the 11th year Mount St. Mary Academy has participated in Close Up. Using the nation’s capital as a “living classroom,” the experience-based program seeks to inform, inspire and empower young people to become actively engaged citizens. Since 1971, it has served more than 900,000 students and teachers from schools around the country through its civic education programs and classroom resources.
Mount St. Mary Academy, sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, develops young women with a moral and intellectual foundation rooted in Catholic tradition. Mercy-minded and college-prepared, our students meet the future with wisdom, compassion and integrity.