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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Student enjoys time at leadership forum

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ashley Brown
A fifth-grade student from Staunton Elementary recently returned from a trip to Washington D.C.

Ashley Nichole Brown received an invitation to the People to People World Leadership Forum, which took place in Washington D.C., March 23-28.

"It was so much fun," Brown said. "I was sad to come home."

She toured the Lincoln Monument, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the Vietnam Wall and the Washington Monument.

"The Washington Monument is actually made of three different colors of bricks," she said. "On TV they all look the same color, but they're not."

Brown also viewed pieces of history, which she had only heard about in school.

"I actually got to see the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and the tour guide called it the sloppy copy of the constitution," she said. "They wouldn't allow me to take any pictures because of the age of the documents, they are trying to preserve them for as long as possible."

Brown visited the Spy Museum and the Smithsonian.

"I saw the Hope Diamond, and learned about the curse," she said. "There was so much stuff.

"I went to the tomb of the Unknown Soldier and saw the changing of the guard," she added. "Did you know that the guards live there, no matter the temperature or weather they never leave. It was really cool."

Brown is the daughter of Ralph and Chrischelle Brown, Brazil, and she has two younger sisters, Mariah, 9, and Hannah, 5.

Chrischelle went with Ashley on the trip, but stayed with other mothers.

"I was able to talk to her for maybe 15 minutes in the morning, the rest of the time they had them going everywhere," Chrischelle said. "The security was one of my concerns, but after being there and seeing it for myself I wouldn't have a problem sending one of my other daughters alone. I know she will be looked after."

When asked what her favorite part of the trip was, Ashley was very adamant.

"I loved the ride over the Potomac River," she said. "It was so cool."

She also enjoyed her time at Gettysburg.

"At the visitor's information center, they actually told us about what the battlefield looked like after battle and we saw a painting come to life as it depicted the battle," she said.

"Something else that was really cool, is that I saw the places were Abraham Lincoln was shot and died," she added.

The trip had such an impact on both Chrischelle and Ashley, they both want to go back and take the family.

Chrischelle was also impressed with the amount of maturing that Ashley did on her trip.

"This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience," she said. "Ashley has grown so much and made so many new friends, it is really wonderful to see the changes in her."

Ashley had a few words of advice to give to other students who have an opportunity to take a trip through People to People.

"Don't be afraid if you don't know anyone," she said. " I knew no one but now some of my close friends are from this trip. Just don't be afraid."

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