Washington DC Trip 2023

San Francisco Achievers is pleased to share our recent journey to Washington DC during spring break 2023, where we had the privilege of taking three of our scholars and three alumni. Part of our mission is to close the access gap for young black men, and this trip was an opportunity to do just that by providing access to a new environment, new role models, and expanding their horizons. Through various activities, our participants were able to gain exposure to different experiences, such as:

  • A visit to Congressman Hakeem Jeffries and a meeting with himself and his staff
  • A guided tour or Congress
  • A visit to the African American Museum
  • Visit to historic landmarks, such as Washington Memorial, MLK Memorial, and Lincoln Memorial.
 

In this blog post, we will detail the unique experiences of each participant and how this trip helped shape their identity as young Black men. We hope that their stories will inspire you to take action in closing the access gap and providing more opportunities for young Black men.

Christopher Castro

Some stuff that I enjoyed from the Washington DC trip was how we had gotten the opportunity to explore the African American museum and visited the Lincoln Statue. I enjoyed how I learned a lot more about political science during the trip and overall had a wonderful time hanging out and meeting the guys. The impression that the trip took on me was Amazing! it showed me that if I work hard in school I can achieve anything I put my mind too. Having the opportunity to visit Capitol Hill and meet the amazing people there showed me that I can become anything I want in life through hard work and education.

Kenechi Anigbogu

I thoroughly enjoyed my entire experience in Washington D.C. I thought there was the right amount of balance between planned activities and time for us to freely roam for ourselves. Of the planned activities, going to the National African American History Museum and visiting the Capitol especially stood out. Both places were steeped in history, especially the museum where we didn’t have enough time to see all that there was to offer. Both the visit to the Hill and the museum were led by a young black professional; it was really inspirational to see people that look like us being successful in those places. Talking to them and hearing the wise words they imparted on us will stick with us for a while I’m sure. Overall, just being in that city was very refreshing. Seeing black people thriving in one place, whether that be on the Howard University campus or just roaming the streets, was great to see. I know my brothers and I were impressed with ‘Chocolate City,’ and we definitely want to visit again.

Chinedu Anigbogu

First, I would like to thank all who made it possible for us to travel and visit Washington DC. My time in this amazing city was great and a truly unforgettable experience. The tour of the African-American History Museum definitely was my favorite activity of everything we did. It was great to visit each floor and see just how far my people have come in the United States and how much more there is to accomplish. Beyond that, being able to walk through the Capitol was an eye-opening experience. I enjoyed meeting with Wayne Williams, Representative Hakeem Jeffries’s Deputy Chief of Staff, and hearing about his journey. This conversation immediately made me think that a career in politics is very possible. It was just special to have this talk.

Overall, the trip was truly a wonderful time and I expect to return to Washington DC soon. Thanks to SFA for all that they do!

Ikenna Anibogu

When I first heard that we may go to Washington DC, I was filled with a lot of excitement; during my senior year of college, our DC trip was canceled due to the pandemic. So, I was very happy that I was able to get the opportunity again. I really didn’t have much expectations for the trip. I knew it would be a nice time away, a time to acquaint myself with current recipients of the scholarship and a chance to see some cool monuments and museums in Washington. However, I did not anticipate how much the trip would inspire me and give me a clearer idea of my own identityßinspire career ideals and strengthen my identity.

Going to the Museum of African American History was an unforgettable experience. Seeing the history of African American people in this country and getting a detailed account of the hardships they had to endure was sad but also inspiring. Going from the basement of the museum (four stories underground), ßin dark, tight spaces meant to replicate a slave ship, then making our way to the top floor of the museum, where we saw the modern

history of our people and their accomplishments left me with the feeling that no matter what hardships we may be going through in the present, we can emulate the actions and mentalities of our ancestors in the past for hope of making our future brighter.

I was also very moved and honored to go to Capitol Hill and meet with Wayne Williams, Representative Hakeem Jeffries’s Deputy Chief of Staff, and Kwabenah Nsiah. Hearing about their experiences and their journeys to get to where they are now was very motivating. I work in a biotech company where there are only 6 black employees throughout the company. So, hearing about their similar experiences and the different ways they approached these experiences was both relieving and uplifting. I left this talk with the idea that I should strive to be as authentic as I can be and should not dim my light or mold myself to fit in society because then that would be doing me and everyone else around me a disservice.

Overall, this trip was an amazing and life-changing trip. I think anyone who is able to go on this trip will really benefit and appreciate the experience. I will always be grateful to the nice people we met on the trip, Gregg Zaire for being a great chaperone during the trip as well as SF Achievers for making opportunities like this possible.

Nathanael Tesfai

During the trip to DC, what I really enjoyed was going to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. This museum is laid out in chronological order by floor, the history of black people in America, and the potential future. Even though I learned black history throughout my whole life, it was almost overwhelming to see so much of it at once. Something else that I really enjoyed was visiting historical monuments such as the Lincoln Memorial, The Washington Monument, and the World War 2 Memorial. What I took away from this trip, besides a deeper appreciation for history, is there are a lot of opportunities for young black people, not just in DC but on the east coast, whether that be in government or the private sector. Additionally, talking to Wayne Williams, Representative Hakeem Jeffries’s Deputy Chief of Staff, was a real privilege because I could listen to someone who came from a similar background talk about how he became successful.

Ammanuel Fisseha

Over spring break, SF Achievers flew us out of San Francisco to Washington DC in order to look at all the historic monuments, and landmarks that it holds. Never having been to DC before, I didn’t know what to expect from a scenery standpoint. When we arrived, it had a different feel than what we have in San Francisco in terms of a work culture and life. Everywhere I looked, I saw people in suits and ties rushing to get to their next meeting, which is something that I don’t see on a daily basis in SF. I enjoyed going to all the museums and landmarks, but I especially enjoyed the African American History Museum and The Capitol Building tour.

The African American History Museum had us going back to get a glimpse of what it was like for black people living during those times. From Slavery to Civil Rights, and seeing just how much black culture has evolved is something that I took out of this trip. Landmarks such as the White House and the Lincoln Memorial were also very surreal to look at in person. As a political science major, this left a very positive impression on what I want my future to look like. Talking with people around the system has really piqued my “already high” interest in politics, and I hope to intern and work in these parts as I grow older. As for the trip itself, it felt as if we made the most of every second during this trip, and I cannot thank everyone in SF Achievers involved enough for taking me, and the rest of the guys on this trip.

Washington DC Trip Gallery 2023

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