NAACP D.C. trip

Twenty-two local students and their sponsors boarded a charter bus for Washington, D.C., at 7 a.m. Sunday morning for a trip funded by money raised by the Paris Chapter NAACP.

An excited William Lindsey, 17, expressed appreciation to the Paris Chapter NAACP early Sunday morning before boarding a Continental Touring Experience bus for Washington, D.C.

“I’ve never been any farther away from home than Arkansas,” the Paris High School student said. “Seeing our nation’s capital will be a great experience, and it is a blessing to get to go. I appreciate everyone who has made this possible.”

Through a community fundraising effort, the local chapter raised $30,000 for the week-long, all expense paid trip. To be eligible, students submitted a 300-word essay explaining reasons for being included in the educational experience and obtained three letters of support from community members outside family.

Paris High School senior Terrell Gill said he plans to take advantage of the educational experience.

“I’m excited to see the Martin Luther King Monument, the Washington Monument and the African American Museum to learn more about my culture,” Gill said. I hope to get into politics or law someday, and I am excited to get to visit the Library of Congress.”

Gill expressed appreciation.

“I want to say thank you to everyone who made this possible because this trip means more to us than what you can imagine,” he said.

Eighteen-year-old Arielle Finch agreed.

“This trip means a lot to me,” the recent Paris High School graduate said. “I know how hard everybody worked to make it possible.”

Berdie Gibson, a Paris Junior College regent and substitute teacher for Paris ISD, said trip chaperones plan to make it an educational experience to supplement what students learn in school.

“There is nothing better than first-hand knowledge,” she said.

Mary Madewell is a staff writer for The Paris News. She can be reached at 903-785-6976 or at

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