HOUSTON – It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and it's an opportunity high school students from Fort Bend ISD wouldn't have if it weren't for Julie Richoux.
“I want them to see everything. I want them to see the supporters, the protesters, I want them to see everything because these elected officials work for all of us,” Richoux said.
She said it would be her fourth time at an inauguration and the third time with students. As a government teacher at Austin High School, Richoux said the first opportunity to go was in 2001 to simply experience more of what she teaches.
“The day I came back, I contacted my principal and I said I have got to bring kids next time,” Richoux said. “Being in Washington, D.C., seeing the swearing in just kind of brings it all home that this was the person that was selected by our country.”
“My entire family's going,” student Andrew Marshall said.
A senior at Austin High School, Marshall said he approached his mom two years ago about wanting to go on the trip, and his excitement was contagious.
"At first it was like 'oh I want to go,' and then my mom was like 'well I'll go with you,' and then my older brother wanted to go and then her boyfriend wanted to go and she's like 'well we don't want to leave two people out,' so he's like 'just everyone, we'll go, everyone's going to go,’” he said.
Marshall's family, along with all the other students from Austin and Kempner High Schools, will not only get to see our next president sworn into office, they will also get to participate and the in inaugural balls.
“The inaugural ball is a way for the tour company to get the kids to experience what the president does on inauguration night," said Stephanie McDowell, assistant principal at Kempner High School.
Schools staff, family members and 100 students leave for D.C. on Wednesday morning and will return to Houston on Sunday. The plan is to spend most of their time seeing the museums and memorials scattered throughout the city. Then, on Inauguration Day, they'll be up early to grab a spot on the National Mall.