POSTED: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - 11:55am
UPDATED: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - 11:56am
WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEWS CENTER 23) — On Tuesday, Congressman Filemon Vela of the 34th District of Texas and Brownsville Mayor Tony Martinez welcomed 49 students and staff of Hanna High School as the group toured Georgetown University and the U.S. House of Representatives. The students and staff visited Washington, D.C., as part of their trip to the 57th Presidential Inauguration.
At the request of Congressman Vela, speakers addressing the students during their visit included: the Honorable Rosie Rios, U.S. Treasurer; the Honorable Juan Garcia, Assistant Secretary of the Navy; the Honorable Grace Napolitano, Member of Congress from California and graduate of Brownsville High School; and Cindy Jimenez a Porter graduate and Vice President for Government Relations at United Technologies Corporation.
The speakers talked with the students about their passion for public service and the importance of having a more diverse group of leaders to meet the demands of our growing nation.
“I wanted the students from Hanna High School to understand the opportunities that are available to them and to hear from national Hispanic leaders about what they can achieve if they work hard,” Vela said. “Each one of the presenters shared their personal stories and encouraged the students to aim high and pursue their dreams. I hope they leave Washington with a sense of commitment to their country as well as a determination to succeed and achieve their goals.”
The Hanna High School students and staff arrived in Washington, D.C., late last week and left this morning. Congressman Vela’s office secured tickets for the group so that they could attend the 57th Presidential Inauguration, which took place Monday on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. Congressman Vela personally escorted the students on a tour of the U.S. Capitol, including a visit to the Rotunda and the House Gallery where they observed proceedings on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. The tour of the Capitol concluded with a once-in-a-lifetime experience; escorted by Congressman Vela, the students and faculty were allowed to visit the Inaugural platform to stand on the exact spot where President Obama took the oath of office on Monday. The students also toured the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the Smithsonian Museums, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, Mount Vernon and Arlington Cemetery among other places of interest.
“Taking the students to the location where President Obama was sworn into office was a very powerful experience for these students,” Vela said. “I wanted to show them that through hard work and dedication, they can achieve their dreams and standing where President Obama stood was a reminder that everyone has the opportunity to be a leader.”