Local Students Ready For "Trip Of A Lifetime" To DC Inauguration

Lariann Wilford, Kylie Kiker, Joni Wiltey Damonte Ranch students headed to Washington, D.C.
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RENO, NV - Thursday morning found some students at Damonte Ranch High School taking final exams early.

Friday morning they will be boarding a plane and when their classmates sit down to the same exams they will be among the 60 Damonte Ranch students in Washington, D.C. attending the presidential inauguration, soaking in both the history they're watching and all that the nation's capitol contains.

It's pretty hard to keep your focus on the test paper in front of you when you're mind is on the journey that's waiting.

"Not that many people get to go to a presidential inauguration," says Kylie Kiker. "So I really want to go. I want to be one to say I was there. I saw it."

"It's such a great experience to actually be there and it will be something to tell your kids and grand kids," adds classmate Joni Wiltey.

Damonte Ranch government and history teacher Chad Sawyer says the trip is part of their education.

"It's important for kids to not just learn about government in the classroom, but actually experience it."

And though the inauguration is the focus of the trip, there's also the days following, a chance to see the sights and history of Washington.

"It's just something I've always wanted to see," says Lariann Wilford. "I grew up just looking at all the pictures in books and now I can actually physically go and see it."

The students and their families raised $2200 each to cover the cost of the trip. It's expected they will get a lifetime of memories in return.

Sawyer took another group of Damonte Ranch students to the inauguration four years ago and saw first hand the difference the experience can make.

"They had a life changing experience," he says.

Today's students should expect the same.

"They won't look at government the same ever again and they won't look a their nation's capitol the same. They'll look at it as a treasure. They'll look at it as a place they should take their families where they should bring their kids when they get older too."