Selah students describe their trip of a lifetime to D.C. and New - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Selah students describe their trip of a lifetime to D.C. and New York

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SELAH, WA - Learning about history in school can be hard for kids to relate to, because they didn't experience it. But a group of students from Selah just went on a trip they'll never forget, and Veronica Padilla has more on how history came alive for them during their vacation.

In school, history class is mostly about memorizing important dates. But these Selah students got out of the classroom for the trip of a lifetime to Washington, D.C. and New York City.

"It was kind of neat seeing history up close," said Lukas Nelson, one of the students. "Kind of gave you like a better idea of what happened during those periods in time."

Lukas and nearly 30 other kids took part in D.C. Bound, a trip focusing on U.S. history, government, and the arts. In D.C., that meant walking along the National Mall, visiting monuments like the iconic Lincoln Memorial.

"It's like always something I've wanted to see and I wanted to see how big it was in person," said another student, Hannah Colby. "But it wasn't as big as I thought it was. I was really hoping it was bigger."

In New York, it was about recent history with a visit to the 9/11 Museum. But these kids weren't even born when the terror attacks happened 16 years ago.

"It made it so surreal," said student Izbella Diaz. "There was an actual emotional connection seeing how graphic it was and how real it was."

The main exhibit in the museum lies within the original foundations of the twin towers, which can create an overwhelming experience.

"It was just frightening, honestly, to see the crumbling structure they had in there," said student Megan Hall. "They still have foundation and everything in there that was from the towers. They have parts from the airplane in there. Just seeing how real this was for so many people, just frightening."

The museum is very emotional to visit and the kids seem like they learned a lot during their time in D.C. and New York, but the trip wasn't just about education; they had a lot of fun too.

New York City can be intimidating to anyone, but to D.C. Bound students from Selah, a community that has less than 8,000 people? They were understandably blown away with more than 8 million people living in New York's five boroughs.

"I went, 'whoa, everything's big,'" said student Ian Dibble. "Literally you had sky scrapers that in Seattle would be completely gigantic and you had hundreds of them."

"It was kind of amazing seeing how so many people could function in a city rather than it being a small town of only a little bit of people," said Montana Reese, another student.

The group packed in a lot of fun during their short time in the Big Apple. They used the subway, went to visit The Today Show set, saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on Broadway, and even did a workshop with an actress who played an oompa loompa. The last one in particular re-sparked an interest in theater for several students.

"Having her just teach you more about it makes you have more confidence in your abilities and having her teach you improv and just building on that makes everything better," said student Destini Bentley.

D.C. Bound focuses on U.S. history, government, and the arts, but the students say their trip to D.C. and New York was much more than that.

"There was a lot of firsts for everyone on this trip so I thought that was pretty cool how we got to experience it together," said Diaz. "Now we have someone that we can talk to about it as well and I thought that was pretty cool."

D.C. Bound partners up with accredited travel organization World Strides to make this experience possible. The next trip will be in 2019.

7th or 8th graders interested in the program will be able to register in September. For more information you can contact Jamie Grubenhoff at (509) 961-3112 or visit DCBound.com.

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