Teens moved by visit
US travel has profound effect
Five months of frantic fundraising was all over in a whirlwind week after 18 excited, but exhausted Mount Aspiring College students returned from New York last week.
The Year 12 and 13 students spent a week of their school holidays experiencing New York and Washington DC with their ambitious English teacher Gena Bagley. The school’s music teacher Mat Doyle, nicknamed ‘Da Boss’ by the students on tour, went along as chaperone.
Many sausages were sold and toilets cleaned in Wanaka to fund the more than $100,000 needed for the trip. Students worked at Warbirds Over Wanaka and the coffers were also boosted by a New York-styled fundraising party at Urban Grind.
‘‘We organised it all within a very ambitious timeframe of five months and there was a lot of stress,’’ Ms Bagley, head of the school’s English department, said.
‘‘I wanted them to look at ideas to underpin the literature they learn about and to get a holistic view of the world.’’
There was no assignment due upon their return to school this term but Ms Bagley was confident that what her students had learned would remain with them for life.
Awalking tour of Harlem was among the most popular highlights for the students, as was a Broadway show and the Holocaust Museum in Washington, which Ms Balgey said was ‘‘pretty powerful’’.
‘‘Harlem didn’t live up to the stereotype,’’ said Year 13 student Kasper Humphrey. ‘‘We were all expecting it to be more dodgy, but the people there were more friendly and easy going than in Manhattan where they were all busy and angry.’’
Standing on the steps at the Abraham Lincoln Memorial, in the exact spot where Martin Luther King gave his ‘‘I Have A Dream’’ speech, was moving for the whole group.
‘‘I feel more prepared for life next year now,’’ Kasper said.
Fresh from New York: Mount Aspiring College Year 12 and 13 students and their teachers land at Queenstown Airport last week. From left rear; Ella Glynn, Aoife Baker, Nathan Milburn, Connor Moore, teachers Gena Bagley and Mat Doyle. Centre from left; Brynee Wilson, Poppy Jefferies, John Steven, Caitlin Lumsden, Harry Waters, Sam Hadida. Front row from left; Alex Johnston, Georgia McNeill, EmmaJay and centre front, Kasper Humphrey. (Absent: Joseph Wellwood and Lucy McCreanor-Knowles, landed elsewhere in NZ).