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The Eighth Grade in Washington D.C.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Throughout this school year, our eighth grade students have served as passionate advocates for immigration reform, collecting the signatures of 3,000 Bay Area residents in support of loosened restrictions. The culminating moment of this project took place in early May, when they took their annual week-long trip to Washington, D.C. and had the opportunity to meet with Rep. Jackie Speier in her office on Capitol Hill. While there, the eighth graders gave themselves a voice in our country's governmental process by presenting their petition to Rep. Speier. In recent years, our students have shared their political views in personal meetings with many national leaders of the Democratic Party, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chris Murphy, and we are grateful to be able to continue the partnership.

This was only one of many impactful moments for the students during their trip to the nation's capitol. They also went on a guided tour of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and visited numerous other landmarks: the Lincoln Memorial, the National Archives, the Holocaust Museum,  the Smithsonian, the Kennedy Center, the National Museum of African-American History and Culture, and more. "We had such an amazing and rich journey," said Eighth Grade Humanities Teacher Terry Ashkinos, who supervised the petition project. "I was once again reminded how deep and engaged in the world these young people are."