By: Michael Hampton
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Local Scholars Visit Nation’s Capitol
Three former Thomas Dale High School students, and recent college graduates visited Washington in March. Andrias White (George Mason University), Maryann Chan and Greg Gallop II (both University of Virginia graduates) saw city landmarks, heard motivational speeches and received sage advice.
Their itinerary included tours of the U.S. Capitol and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. They also attended a presentation by Sgt. Carol Adams of the Richmond Police Department, whose message was similar to the one she delivered at the White House a few weeks earlier. They got a personal tour of the Old Post Office Pavilion and saw several monuments, including the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.
The original itinerary included a tour of the White House. Members of Sen. Mark Warner’s staff submitted requests for the tours.
Everyone was elated to receive a White House tour confirmation in March but later, a notice was received from the White House Visitors Office that the tour needed to be rescheduled due to a White House schedule change (the German Chancellor visited March 17).
After one more White House tour request, plans were made to go ahead with the trip without the White House visit because the itinerary was already set. In addition, the group had already secured the “hard to get” tickets for the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
These young adults have not given up on a chance to see the inside of the White House and experience its history and art. They especially want to see first-hand the people who keep the Executive Mansion running. A chance to check out the inside of the People’s House is especially important to two of the three scholars on the White House invitation list. They dream of the day when they will work in the White House as Chief Usher (Director of the President’s Executive Residence) and as a member of the Christmas design team.
So for now, the group is eagerly anticipating another confirmation from the White House Visitors Office. In the meantime, they set out to explore the capital city; a place that has something to satisfy every appetite, from politics and history to science and philanthropy. Special thanks to the community leaders who made this trip possible, including: Jay Burchell of Heritage Chevrolet; The Gee Law Firm (Angela Knight); Dickie King of King’s Korner Catering; Will Nichols of Crossroads Ford; Billy Kincaid of Club Quarters; and Dr. LaChelle Waller, the Founder and Executive Director of TRAK’D camp.
Contributed by Valerie Gallop