LUM Achieve! Students “March on Washington”

youth trip to washington dc

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“LUM Youth Trip to Washington DC”

Travel Blog — LUM Youth Trip to Washington

Friday, August 23, 2013

7 a.m.

Anthony, Lourdes, Makaylah, TK, Cassandra, Noah and Fatima arrived — excited — for the bus ride to Washington DC. They loaded the bus quickly; they were loud for a bit; then, they were all asleep shortly there after.

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Left to Right:
(Front Row) Sandra Dunn-El, Makaylah Douglas (Jefferson High School), Fatima Sanchez (Jefferson High School), Lourdes Sanchez (Jefferson High School);
(Back Row) – Joe Tylenda, Joe Micon, TK Young (Jefferson High School), Anthony Hicks (West Lafayette High School), Noah Ortiz (Wea Ridge Middle School), Cassandra Ortiz (McCutcheon High School)


Their first stop was a quick potty-break at a rest stop off the highway in Ohio.

The next stop was McDonald’s in Licking, Ohio near Buckeye Lake. Quick lunch — recharge devices — and then back on the road.

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The road trip east to Washington DC was long but fun. The students got to know each other better and learned a little bit about US history too. The students were given a handout on the bus that included vocabulary terms which related to the original March on Washington. After lunch the students were quizzed on the definition of terms like civil rights, desegregate, federalize, 15th Amendment, legacy, orator, poll tax, universal human kinship, SNCC, SCLC, and NAACP. There was an initial groan about having “school work” on the bus – but the students soon got into the spirit of the exercise. Some students initiated ice-breakers and even sang the “State Song” at one point. 

2:21 p.m.

The traffic was relatively light with only a couple of delays. It was no time before we hit the Ohio River and approached the border of West Virginia. With only two hours to go, they stopped for another brief rest break/potty break. They took a bit of a detour through the backwoods of Pennsylvania close to the West Virginia border – but the GPS guided us through. Our driver navigated the narrow, hilly roads with ease as we passed trailer homes and a Hub Cap Center – all in search of a restroom.

The Bus Driver -- "Little" Joe Tylenda

The Bus Driver — “Little” Joe Tylenda

At the rest-stop, Joe Micon led the group in stretching exercises before reloading the bus.

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9 p.m.

The LUM bus arrives at the Fifteen Street Presbyterian Church in Washington DC. Church staff and Jud Dolphin (immediate past LUM executive director) greeted us upon our arrival. 

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The group headed to dinner at the Italian Kitchen on U only a couple of block from the church.

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11 p.m.

The student returned to the church and settled in for the night. Tomorrow is a big day. The plan is to get to the Lincoln Memorial by 8 a.m. Good night.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

8 a.m.

After a quick breakfast the students head out to the March on Washington.

We met up with Jud Dolphin our local tour guide and decide to take the Metro to the White House. This was the first “subway” experience for most of our students. We arrived in the area of the White House and stopped briefly to check out a T-shirt sales table — one of hundreds in DC today. We obviously were only able to see the White House from outside the fence — but it was a beautiful, clear view.

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We then wandered through Lafayette Square to see more statues and enjoy the view of the White House with the Washington Monument in the background.

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We then headed to the National Mall. On the way there we saw many more sites including the Treasury Building.

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9:30 a.m.

They soon saw the Washington Monument in the distance and headed in that direction. Once they entered the National Mall near the Washington Monument we began to realize just how big the turn out was for the March on Washington. It was a big crowd filled with energy and hope — and the students were proud and excited to be a part of this historic day.

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The students explored the National Mall, the Washington Monument and the World War II Memorial. From the WWII Memorial they had a clear yet distant view of the program at the Lincoln Memorial across the entire reflection pool.

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They then decided to stop fighting the crowd and go to the King Memorial. To their delight the Rosa Parks Bus (the actual bus) was near the King Memorial — so, the student were able to enjoy and experience both.

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They then had a picnic lunch under the trees on the National Mall — and decided to leave the March on Washington area.

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1:30 p.m.

They headed to the Smithsonian’s Nation Museum of Natural History. This was a special treat for the students since a visit to the Smithsonian was not on our original itinerary. Interestingly, most of the students remember this museum from the Ben Stiller movie — Night at the Museum. They each had their own favorite exhibit in the museum that they eagerly shared with each other — from the Hope Diamond to the Ocean to the Mammals.

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They then headed to the Metro station but first visited the US Capitol Building.

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5:30 p.m.

They then headed to the Cleveland Park neighborhood for dinner. Jud recommended a wonderful Vietnamese restaurant — Nam Viet. Many of the students were anxious about trying Vietnamese cuisine for the first time — but when dinner was over — everyone raved about their meal.

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7 p.m.

They then attended a screening of Lee Daniel’s The Butler. There could not have been a more perfect movie for this group, at this moment, in this place. After a weekend filled with conversation and experiences surrounding the US civil rights movement — The Butler was a powerful movie to see. It was also extra special that the movie is set in Washington DC — mostly in the White House. Everyone LOVED the movie, which sparked a lively conversation for the rest of the night and into the next day.

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9:30 p.m.

The students capped off the night with a trip to the neighborhood fro-yo shop — Yogiberry. After enjoying their fro-yo and conversations, they said good-bye to Jud Dolphin and took the Metro back to Dupont Center and our homebase, the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church.

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A truly historic day for our students.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

5:30 a.m.

The LUM bus is all packed and is heading home to Lafayette, Indiana. Estimated time of arrival is 7 p.m. EST.

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9:30 a.m.

Once the long journey home had begun, all were eager to get home and share their stories with their family and friends. There were only a few stops en route to Indiana — one to a rest stop in Pennsylvania, which honored the coal miners.

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6:30 p.m.

When the LUM Achieve students arrived back home at the LUM Ray Ewry Youth Center — the students’ families were waiting in anticipation of hearing all about their children’s trip.

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7 p.m.

The local TV station was also waiting for our students to return to get interviews a couple of our students about their experience Marching on Washington in 2013, 50 years after the original march in 1963.

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Before they departed, the students could not leave without a couple of more group photos.

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Upon reflection, Joe Micon stated,

What a memorable trip with a terrific group of young people! “Thank you” Sandra Dunn-El, Pablo Malavenda and Joe Tylenda for doing such an excellent job of keeping the young people safe during the weekend. LUM is grateful for your dedication and energy. “Thank you” to former LUM executive director Jud Dolphin for being our trail guide while in Washington. And “thank you” to our very gracious hosts at 15th Street Presbyterian Church in DC. We learn so much about race and civil rights. We also learned how difficult it can be to exit 12 people from a Metro car at the same time!

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To see all of the pictures from the LUM Youth Trip to Washington, click HERE.

POSTED – August 19, 2013

August 28, 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King’s famed “I Have a Dream” speech. This anniversary presents the perfect opportunity to teach about the history of the civil rights movement and the ongoing effects of racial discrimination in our nation and communities.

The Lafayette Urban Ministry is providing 10 local high school students, who are participants in LUM’s Achieve! Stay-in School Program, the opportunity to go to our nation’s capital this weekend to participate in 50th Anniversary activities.

While in Washington DC the LUM students will visit the sites, listen to the speeches and meet people that will help them to gain a better understanding of our nation’s struggle with race, how far we’ve progressed in overcoming racism, and what important work remains to be done.

The students will leave this Friday morning, August 23rd, from LUM Ray Ewry Youth Center (525 N. 4th Street, Lafayette). The LUM students will then spend the full day on Saturday participating in 50th Anniversary activities, and return to Lafayette on Sunday evening, August 25. While in Washington DC, LUM’s Achieve! students will be the guests of the congregation of the historic Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church (more church history HERE).


LUM Donate Button - youth DC trip

“LUM Youth Trip to Washington DC”

The students chosen to attend this educational trip are those who have shown special promise and progress through during their participation in LUM’s Achieve! Program.

The three-day trip to Washington DC, including transportation, food, materials will cost $100 for each student.

Are you able to help LUM defray these costs with a gift of $30, $50, $100 or even $500?

Click HERE to make your donation. Thank you!

Check in HERE often for updates and photos direct from the LUM Youth Trip to Washington.

Join LUM online and help us serve children and families even better.



0 thoughts on “LUM Achieve! Students “March on Washington””

  1. Reblogged this on PCPop w/ Pablo and commented:

    As a part of PC Pop Social Media, I was asked to travel to Washington DC with a youth group to participate in the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. The students are enrolled at an academic enrichment program at the Lafayette Urban Ministry (Indiana) called Achieve! Stay-in-School Program. Achieve recruits middle school students who are at-risk academically and qualify for the 21st Century Scholars program, which entitled them to free tuition in any Indiana state university, if they continue to meet certain award criteria. These student committed in writing to a rigorous learning enrichment program meant to ensure that they succeed. LUM decided that these students would get a tremendous experience by traveling to Washington and experiencing first hand a significant part of our nation’s history.

    My role in this trip was to document the students’ experience. I jumped at the chance to travel with these students to Washington for two reasons: first – I personally wanted to “March on Washington” for the 50th; second – I was excited about the opportunity to see it through the eyes of these young Americans. I took hundreds of photos, interviewed the students with each conversation, observed the actions and reactions, coached them on visiting a major event in a big US city, and wrote about their collective journey. I was posting and blogging as it was happening — trying to capture the excitement, the awe, the history and the transformation of each participant in our group. Although it was only a three day trip — it changed my life. It is a trip I will remember fondly the rest of my life. I believe it had the same, if not greater, impact on the seven Achieve students who were brave enough and wise enough to take advantage of this one in a lifetime experience. I have a dream that I will be able to travel back to DC for the 100th anniversary with this very same group of students in 2063! Enjoy this travel blog — and let me know what you think.

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