Sixth-grader Richard Gadsden of Jamaica got to take some days off from school this week for a trip to Washington with the Junior National Youth Leaders Conference.
Richard, 12, spent five days Saturday through Thursday in the capital city learning about the American government with 50 students from throughout the state and hundreds more across the country.
The middle-school students got a hands-on lesson in the founding of the country and day-to-day workings of Congress, said Brett West, a spokesman for the program. The students also met with congressional staff members and toured national monuments, West said.
Im really excited, Richard said before he left for Washington. It looks like its going to be fun.
Richard, who attends the United Nations International School in Jamaica Estates, also received a special invitation to meet his congressman, U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-St. Albans), said Richards father, Clifford Gadsden.
We just thought this would be a great opportunity for him to interact with other kids from across the country, the elder Gadsden said. Its always nice when kids can exchange ideas.
And despite Richards interest in visiting Washington, hes not considering politics for his future career, he said. He wants to be a doctor, he said.
You get to help people and they get paid a lot of money, said Richard.
©2003 Community News Group
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