WASHINGTON, DC -- Thirty Miami-Dade high school senior students boarded a flight early Thursday morning to Washington, D.C., to take part in the annual meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus.
The young men were participants in the 5,000 Role Models of Excellence Project and are the 2024 Wilson Scholars.
Their day started with a 4 a.m. call time, meeting at the Miami-Dade County School Board office. On their itinerary: a mind blowing once in a lifetime all-expenses paid trip to the nation's capital.
"It's really exciting as a first-time experience," said Tristan Wilson, a senior at Miami Norland Senior High School. "It's an experience of a lifetime and I'm really excited to go. I think it allows you to make connections. Also see things that you wouldn't see if you're just in Miami the whole time."
Stasy Orozco is from Nicaragua and watching her son Steven go on the trip is an American dream.
"Both of his parents are immigrants, Mexican and Nicaraguan and we're so proud of him," she said.
"So to me, it's an honor to actually go over and see what my case was about White House," Steven said.
The students landed around 6:30 a.m. Thursday and began meeting with Congressional lawmakers and attending Congressional Black Caucus panels.
For Steven and Tristan, even before they left they already knew the experiences from this trip they'll be taking with them the rest of their lives.
"This helps me because the 5,000 Role Models program is surrounded with a lot of people that help you out individually," Steven said. "And it also helped me to be a better version of myself every single day."
The young men will be in Washington through Sunday.
Also on their to do list include visiting the African-American History Museum, more meetings with federal lawmakers and going to a Washington Nationals baseball game.
for more features.