Students' trip to D.C. canceled after lack of funding

Published: Aug. 27, 2013 at 1:20 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 24, 2013 at 1:20 AM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Four teens who are a part of the non-profit organization "Success 4 the Future," wrote essays on the 1963 march on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech only to have their dreams shattered.

Just two days away from the anniversary, the non-profit said they don't have the money for the trip.

"Success 4 the Future" is a Huntsville based foundation geared toward uplifting children in education and experiences. One of those experiences was supposed to come from an expense-paid trip to Washington.

On Monday, the founder of the group, Reggie Hill, and one of the winner's of the contest hit the pavement and stopped by several churches looking for help.

Hill said in June, he tapped sources like the city council, the mayor, County Commissioner Bob Harrison and other civic leaders for the money, but claims he didn't find out until last week that they couldn't provide any funds.

Hill also claims the school district made it even more difficult by not allowing the students to be excused from school.

"I do take full responsibility of everything myself but I do want us to understand that we are in positions where we have an opportunity to utilize our abilities, our titles, our resources, whatever it maybe. We should utilize that to the full extent for all people because if you are in a public office, you represent everybody," said Hill.

"I was thinking, having my hopes up going to speak on a national forum and having this experience in Washington which maybe a once in a lifetime experience for me," said student, Walter Jones.

Huntsville City Schools said they had no problem with the students going on the trip, but because Hill is not a school employee or the students' legal guardian, they just wanted parents to come in person and give permission.

Commissioner Harrison also commented, saying Hill never reached out with a proper proposal.

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