Purpose at the Capitol - My Family Travels
FTF Teen Travel Writing Scholarship Photo
FTF Teen Travel Writing Scholarship Photo

A tear dropped from my mother’s eye as she gazed at where I was standing compared to where I had stood. Originally from a deteriorating part of California, my future was supposed to be occupied by crime, violence, a poor education and no purpose; yet, I was standing at the center of the political world: Washington D.C.
Respectfully, I observed memorials dedicated to the men and women who gave their lives for this country. With gratitude, I stared in awe at monuments dedicated to past presidents whose ideals transformed this nation. I saluted protestors who marched for the improvement of our society.


However, I am getting ahead of myself. My trip to Washington D.C. did not begin at a train station nor an airport, but in a classroom. Disappointed with the lifestyle we live in California, my parents packed up our belongings and settled down in Connecticut. Once in Connecticut, I was enrolled into a college preparatory school for underrepresented students. After excelling in the field of math, I was offered the opportunity to enter a program hosted by Johns Hopkins University called C.T.Y. (Center for Talented Youth). If accepted into the program, I would have earned the chance to travel to colleges around the United States for a month-long college-level course. After a rigorous application, to my amazement and my parents’ expectation, I received a letter of acceptance which I saw as a passport to travel around the United States.

For the next few years, every summer I travel to a new place. I studied at cities like Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Baltimore; as well as in states like Maine and Rhode Island. However, none would prove more meaningful than my journey to the capitol. Its significance lays in what the trip represented and a fundamental conclusion I established about my life. The trip began and ended with a train ride. I went into the capitol not knowing what I would do with my life, but left with a purpose. The train ride (towards) itself is but a blur to me; like most people I simply slept through it. However, as we entered the city, I awoke from my profound sleep and was left mouth agape as what appeared to be a utopia entered my sight. As the trained entered the city, I could not help but to admire the cleanliness of the streets, the buildings reaching for the skies, the Senators and government-officials heading to their jobs that would influence nations. As my family and I stepped out the train, we were greeted by other families in the program whose faces showed equal excitement. The first stop on our tour was the Washington Monument, the Reflecting Pool, and the Lincoln Memorial.

At first, I could not describe what I felt in the presence of these tributes honoring great men. Then we visited the White House and I was met by the same feeling. I looked at the surroundings of the White House and only saw splendor. Trees were blooming, the sun was high in the sky, and everyone had a smile on their face. I turned to face the white walls of the president’s house and was envious. It was not until we reached the Capitol Building that I realized what I was feeling: a calling. Behind the wall of the Capitol Building people were passing bills that would influence our country, hopefully for the better. I knew that was what I wanted to do be. Since that trip, I aim towards becoming a senator one day; so that I may bring forward a time of prosperity for all.

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