A group of 47 traveled to Washington, D. C. last month on a trip sponsored by BRTC and organized by Dr. Sandy Baltz, Fine Arts instructor. “I wanted to develop a special ‘gift’ for graduates similar to the car giveaway held in previous years,” explained Baltz, “and I thought a free trip to D.C. would be a wonderful gift and a great opportunity for a lucky graduate. In discussing the idea, Dr. Hatcher suggested giving two trips – one for a technical student and one for a general education student.”
A random drawing was held from the pool of December graduates and from the May graduates and then a final drawing was held to determine the two winners. Britt Grice and Deborah Woodson were the winners of the all-expenses paid trip worth approximately $900. Grice graduated in December with a Tech Ed degree, and Woodson graduated in May with a Gen Ed degree.
The other thirty students had half of their expenses paid by BRTC’s Student Government Association (SGA). “This meant a trip of a lifetime for many,” noted Baltz. In addition to the students, several BRTC employees and a few members of the community rounded out the group, filling up all seats available on the charted bus.
The group spent four days in D.C. where they toured the U.S. Capitol, the Supreme Court, the Library of Congress, and the National Archives, and also viewed the Lincoln, Washington, Vietnam, WWII, Marine Corp and Korean Memorials. They traveled to Mount Vernon in Virginia, home of George Washington located on the Potomac River, and to the Arlington Cemetery where they witnessed the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. They also went to Ford’s Theatre where they watched a play telling the story of Lincoln’s assassination, then they toured the house across the street where Lincoln was taken and later died from his wounds.
The group also toured the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and also had the opportunity to visit different Smithsonian Museums of their choice, such as the Natural History Museum, the American History Museum, and the Air and Space Museum. A group photo was taken in front of the White House at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
BRTC students making the trip were: Pam Allen, Christina Gilbreath, Ryan Carter, Susan Glasgow, Kera Hufford, Keri Hufford, Hannah Shepherd, Samantha Wilson, Andy Guyton, Jacob Pipkin, Joe Videgain, Pam Anis, Cyndell Graftenreed, Savannah Evans and Jessica Russell. Also, Bridget Stacey, Deborah Woodson, Mitzi Thomas, Jessica Gregory, Lillian Champion, Eathan Pruett, Sabrina Morrisett, Charles Hester, Michael Secrest, Britt Grice, Marva Burgess, Paige Ratliff, Samantha Adams, Joshua Dye, Jerri Blue and Donna Kieffner.
“I am a nontraditional student, and I would never have an opportunity like this,” said Jerri Blue. “With the help of the college, I was able to go and learn so much. I am very thankful.” Hannah Shepherd added, “It was so important! I felt like they (BRTC) really cared about us to provide this educational experience.”
BRTC employees on the trip were: Mantha Baltz, Janice Harvey, Mary Anderson, Billie Fry and Kim Bigger, who all served as chaperones, along with Sandra Parker, Teresa Shepherd, Daniel Lee and Anne Simpson. Members of the community who went were: Miranda Krueger, Ryan Glasgow, Sheila Jackson, Dawayne Anderson, Katelyn Bigger and Wade Gregory.
“It was a wonderful opportunity for the students,” said Baltz, and I know they were very appreciative of this learning experience.”
Student Joe Videgain said, “It was a better way of getting to know the history of the U.S. I learned more on this trip than I would have learned in a classroom.” Savannah Evans stated, “I believe this trip gave me a better appreciation for our military. Seeing so many graves and veterans memorials just gave me a new perspective. I know I would never have been able to see these wonderful places without the help of BRTC and the SGA.” Jessica Gegory added, “I would never have been able to go to D.C. without the help of BRTC and the SGA. Thank you both for a life-changing experience!”