This summer ten teenagers affiliated with the MCLB TMs Youth and Teen Center had the opportunity to attend Operation Washington D.C. through a military mentoring grant.
Michelle Ramos, Director of the MCLB TMs Youth and Teen Center says it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. They really give the kids so many different experiences as far as seeing the different Smithsonians, all the different monuments, meeting different politicians, letting them actually go to Capitol Hill and go to offices and meet people and really encourage them to get involved civically says Ramos.
While visiting places like the Supreme Court and the Library of Congress participants got to interact with hundreds of other children of military members. Derricka Calhoun says sharing ideas was an interesting experience. We talked about the community action where we decided some plans that we wanted to enact in the community like gang related stuff, drugs, school wise everything says Calhoun.
Corey Dixon says the trip was a good balance between education and fun. We listened to speeches and seminars, went to museums, like Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, we got to listen to the attorney general and it was fun says Dixon.
The students even met with our U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss to discuss what he does for the state of Georgia. To be able to see it on a large scale and to see it for themselves I think was powerful for a lot of our kids and for a lot of our kids they wouldn TMt have had that opportunity if they weren TMt affiliated with this program says Ramos.