The 2017 Silver Lining Program Deepens Students' Knowledge of U.S. History

The SYTA Youth Foundation and the American Experience Foundation Donate a Trip of a Lifetime to 30 Deserving Youth

July 31, 2017, Washington, D.C.Summer is a popular time for many students to travel with their classmates and friends, but not all students are that fortunate. This year, thanks to the SYTA Youth Foundation (SYF), its partners and members, and the American Experience Foundation (AEF), 30 eighth and ninth grade students from the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tar River Region of North Carolina were selected to experience the gift of travel. 

The youth had the opportunity to participate in a three-day, all-expense paid, educational program in the nation’s capital from July 10-12. Annually, the foundations select a group of deserving students within the United States to receive an enriched educational experience and deepen their knowledge of U.S. history through the SYF Silver Lining and AEF DC Rite of Passage programs. 

SYF and the American Experience Foundation cover all program costs such as trip insurance, hotel fees, admission to all attractions, meals and motor coach transportation. The group visits locations such as the Frederick Douglass Historic House, multiple museums and a tour of the Capitol Building. During their visit at the Capitol, the students had a surprise visit from their Congressman G.K. Butterfield. Longtime SYF facilitator, Norm Hull, provides leadership and team building exercises to the program. 

“I am glad I was chosen to go on this trip,” said program participant, Alexandria Williams. “I am excited to go to Washington, D.C. so I can travel outside of North Carolina. I also want to learn new things about D.C. I want to see the White House…I think it is good to always learn new things. I am very excited!”

“I am excited to travel to Washington D.C. so I can learn about new things. I especially want to learn more about my African American History. I am glad I was chosen to go,” said another participant, Serenity Battle.

SYF would like to thank these program partners: Academic Travel Services, Academy Bus, Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, Ben’s Chili Bowl, Big Bus Washington D.C, Hard Rock Cafe, Washington D.C, Hilton Crystal City Hotel at Washington Reagan National Airport, International Spy Museum, Jeff Ghannam Tour Guide Service, Linda McCue Productions, Madame Tussauds D.C, Newseum, Norm Hull & Associates, Pinstripes, Potbelly Sandwich Shop and Student Watchers.

About the Foundations

The SYTA Youth Foundation (SYF), the philanthropic division of the Student & Youth Travel Association (SYTA), provides access to travel opportunities for young people that would otherwise be unavailable due to family economic hardship, budget cuts in school systems or simply lack of access to or education about travel as a learning experience. The SYTA Youth Foundation is focused on changing young lives through travel.  www.sytayouthfoundation.org

The American Experience Foundation (AEF) enriches the lives of low-income students through inspirational travel experiences and educational opportunities to cultivate the next generation of hospitality industry professionals. AEF is the 501(c)(3) charity affiliated with Destination DC. www.washington.org/members/american-experience-foundation

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