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DC Rite of Passage Program is a Success

March 2, 2016

March 2, 2016, Washington, D.C. – 28 students from McKeesport, PA were selected to participate in a travel experience of a lifetime this past weekend courtesy of the SYTA Youth Foundation (SYF), American Experience Foundation (AEF), and Cash for Kids, the 501(c)(3) founded by WNBA player Swin Cash.

These three unique foundations joined together for the 2nd annual “DC Rite of Passage” program that took place February 26-29, 2016. The program was designed to inspire youth, who are unable to travel due to economic hardship, through travel experiences. Together, the foundations have the ability to change the lives of young people.

The students in the DC Rite of Passage program received an enriched educational experience and deepened their knowledge of U.S. history over the weekend-long trip in the nation’s capital. They experienced some of the most iconic sites and attractions including the White House, National Museum of American History, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Arlington National Cemetery, and a night tour of the monuments aboard Big Bus Tours. In addition, the youth attended a Washington Wizards game and visited the Spy Museum, National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Newseum.

A very special thank you to the following partners for making this program possible: Big Bus Tours; Buca di Beppo; Crescent Hotels & Resorts; Entertainment Cruises; George Washington’s Mount Vernon; Gunther Charters, Inc.; Hard Rock Cafe; Hilton Crystal City; International Spy Museum; Mid Atlantic Receptive Services; Newseum; Night Owls; Pinstripes and U.S. Capitol Visitor Center.

“Thank you for taking us to Washington, DC. We learned a lot about the history of our nation’s capital. Without Swin and the support of the foundations, we would not have been able to have this experience“. – Program Participant.

The SYTA Youth Foundation (SYF), the philanthropic division of the Student & Youth Travel Association (SYTA), provides access to travel opportunities for young people that would otherwise be unavailable due to family economic hardship, budget cuts in school systems or simply lack of access to or education about travel as a learning experience. The SYTA Youth Foundation is focused on changing young lives through travel.

The American Experience Foundation (AEF) enriches the lives of low-income students through inspirational travel experiences to Washington, DC and cultivates the next generation of hospitality industry professionals. AEF is the 501(c)(3) charity affiliated with Destination DC, the lead destination marketing organization for the city. AEF hosts two kinds of field trips annually, the DC Rite of Passage trip for students from outside the area and the DC Backyard Bound trip for DC Public School 8th graders. Additionally, AEF provides scholarships to high school seniors or graduates from the DC Hospitality Academies located within Ballou High School, Bell Multicultural High School and Woodrow Wilson High School to students pursuing higher education to attain careers in the hospitality industry.

The Cash for Kids Foundation, founded by Swin Cash is committed to providing the essential tools – on and off the court – for kids to “get in the game.” The Foundation uses sports and cultural activities to motivate, educate and elevate. This program includes exposing youth to their local city as well as the world outside their neighborhoods with overnight trips to New York City and other major destinations. The goal is to inspire them to be leaders – on and off the court.

For additional information, contact:
Emily Milligan, Associate Director, SYTA Youth Foundation
[email protected]

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