Jacob Haviland-Olores was amazed at all that he saw while journeying across Pennsylvania, New York and Washington, D.C., with his classmates.
“It was a very beautiful, very eye-opening experience,” said the St. Theresa School eighth-grader. “I want to go again just to look more thoroughly at everything.”
A group of 15 fourth- through eighth-graders, accompanied by parents and school officials, traveled to the East Coast for a weeklong trip in March to gain better perspectives of U.S history.
“It’s basically an experience for students to see what’s out there in the world,” Haviland-Olores said. “It also gives us an opportunity to experience new diversities of people.”
Students also visited the Iwo Jima Memorial, known as the Marine Corps War Memorial, in Virginia; Amish communities in Pennsylvania; Rockefeller Center in New York; the Washington Memorial, the Capitol Building and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.
Students also saw the plays “Wicked” and “Shear Madness” in New York.
“I think the most memorable thing was we went to Arlington National Cemetery which was also bigger than I thought,” Haviland-Olores said.
The trips, which are normally taken by the seventh- and eighth-graders every two years, were started in 2008 by St. Theresa School Business Manager Camille Hesapene in honor of former teacher Walter Souza.
“We wanted to take them out of the books; give them more hands-on history,” Hesapene said. “We’re from the far West and being there was an experience for all.”
Hesapene said students enjoyed seeing the larger sites as well as smaller ones — such as New York City’s taxi cabs.
“It may seem small but when you’re in the far West you don’t see that,” Hesapene said. “Even the adults were just amazed by the whole trip.”
Haviland-Olores’ mother, Kanani Maeda, agreed.
“It was absolutely fantastic,” Maeda said. “I was very honored to be able to travel with my son. It was a great experience to share with him. It was really nice to be able to walk though history.”