Stepping into History

July 14, 2023

Top, left: group of students taking selfie; bottom, left: Congresswoman Linda Sanchez speaking with students; right: students in front of the Supreme Court

Written by: Gregory Cisneros, Caminos al Futuro 2023

The morning started with us catching the GW Vex to the Foggy Bottom campus and eating breakfast at the local deli. Over our meal, we talked about how the program was flying by and how we felt about the day ahead. We only had one week left.

After breakfast, we took the Metro to the U.S. Capitol. I was excited to share this experience with my fellow Caminos Scholars, some of whom had not previously been to the Capitol building. Even before entering, we were amazed by the architecture and the historic significance of the building. The other Scholars and I knew we had to get photos for social media and send them to family. We took some serious and silly photos while waiting to enter.

Once inside, we participated in a guided tour, seeing statues and original artwork that portrayed the historical events that the nation was founded upon. A highlight of the tour was learning that each state picks two statues to represent them in the building. We were also able to see the Congressional chamber in session. Although it was a short timeframe, it was mind-blowing to witness this prestigious part of the U.S. government. After the tour, we visited the office of Congresswoman Linda T. Sánchez (D-CA).

Congresswoman Sánchez told us about how we cannot change the way people treat us because of the color of our skin unless we speak out against it. She shared how everyday security would stop her and not believe she was a congresswoman. This finally changed when she spoke out. Her story sticks out to me because sometimes I hold my feelings and do not release what I truly feel.

Our day ended with a visit to the U.S. Supreme Court, where we were given an overview of how the Court works and even allowed to enter the chamber. This was my favorite part of the day because this was where milestone civil rights cases like Brown v. Board of Education and Loving v. Virginia were decided. Shortly thereafter, our day came to an end, and I concluded that walking in dress shoes for miles and wearing a suit in the hot weather was worth it to witness our historical and prestigious form of government!

Gregory Cisneros is a Caminos al Futuro 2023 scholar. Gregory’s views are his own and not necessarily reflective of the Cisneros Institute.