The sight of the city rising over the horizon inspired joy in the hearts of all those aboard the bus. They had finally arrived in our nation’s capitol. The 1776 Challenge Cup awaited, where Joe Troyen would make a pitch for PenPal Schools in front of global leaders in education policy and activism.
Yet, as always, fate would not let things be so simple, for the team had taken for granted an obvious question: where do you park a long, blue school bus in Washington D.C.? The team split up; Joe went to practice his speech and the rest of the team set off to find parking. Two hours later the team returned, telling of their wrong turns and detours but eventual success.
While the PenPal Schools team was in the capitol for a purpose, they naturally couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take in the local sights, so they set off on a three hour tour of some of the most famous places, including the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, and the National Mall.
The next day, the team went to the 1776 Challenge Cup competition where Joe, our founder, presented PenPal Schools in front of a panelist of the top leaders in education from around the world. Although the panel did not select PenPal Schools to move on to the final round, the team still got to meet with many people involved in education here in the United States and abroad. Amazing entrepreneurs from all over the world creating positive social impact spoke at the competition and pitched their own ideas for startup businesses.
The most important part of the PenPal Schools team’s time in D.C. was a series of meetings with the Department of Education, Department of State, the Peace Corps, USAID, and many others that helped us expand our network and provide excellent learning opportunities for even more learners from all around the world. Joe went to see 44th President of the United States Barack Obama speak about the importance of entrepreneurship, along with other influential figures such as Mark Cuban.
After the team left the competition, they prepared for the final destination on their trip: New York City. Join the PenPal Schools team in Part VI of the drive to D.C. to read about exciting adventures in the Big Apple.