By Courtney Howell
Last week regional high school students traveled to the High School of Economics and Finance in Manhattan to discuss with students there how they can work to unite their worlds. The regional high school combined two clubs to go on the four-day trip, the One World Club and the Business club. From visiting the 9/11 Memorial and the Museum of Tolerance, to attending the St. Patrick’s Day parade, the Island students got an inside look into New York City.
Elaine Weintraub, who is the history department chair and who has organized the trip for the last five years, said that her favorite part of the trip was “seeing my students have opportunities that they wouldn’t normally have. I try to bring a community of underserved students who aren’t always given the opportunity to travel.” She said the club doesn’t spend a lot of time in meetings; the travel cultivates inclusiveness that can lead to change.
Senior Elijah Larue was impressed with the NYC students. He said, “I gained new friends and a new respect for kids who go to school in the city. Some kids have to travel many miles just to get to school. In some of those towns and cities, they’re set up to fail. But they aren’t listening to the people trying to keep them down; they’re trying to change their lives in a positive way.”
Senior Arden Bezahler said, “I went on the trip with the Business Vlub because it sounded like a lot of fun and it was a chance to visit New York again. My favorite part was walking around on St. Patty’s Day and being given freedom to see things for ourselves. The museums we went to gave me deeper insight to the emotional trauma that happened during 9/11 and what tolerance can do. And the burritos were really good.”
Junior Patricia Oliveira said, “The off-Broadway show we attended was funny and impressive. I learned how to get around New York, and I met a lot of cool people from the school there.”
Senior Shannon Morris said, “I thought it would be a good experience to see how students in a city are different than us. My favorite part was seeing the parade. I learned from this experience that some people don’t have it as good as we do. Many have to take hour-long train rides to school.”
Junior Lena Hanschka discussed her motivation for attending the trip. “So many people told me how fun it was the last few years,” she said. “My favorite part was meeting the other high school kids and going to the museums. I think I got a better understanding of 9/11 and of how different other high schools are.”