Thursday morning we found ourselves wandering the halls of the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land (people say there is a basketball court on the roof and technically this is the highest court). The court consist of a chief justice and eight associate justices. A justice can only be appointed by the President of the United States and must be approved by the Senate. Their job is to listen to court cases and interpret the laws. They are responsible for making final decisions in many court cases including: Brown vs The Board Education, Roe vs Wade, Citizens United vs Federal Election Commission.
Most of the justices that have served have been men. Only in recent times was the first woman appointed, Sandra Day O’Connor. She served from 1981-2006 and was a pioneering voice on the court. Since her appointment three other women have been appointed and are serving today: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. They are all very strong, smart and bold!
Soon after we dashed to Microsoft where we were greeted by awesome people. They ushered us into the conference room with wall to wall windows and a beautiful view of the city. The visit at Microsoft, for some of us, was our favorite because we had an opportunity to code for an hour on a Microsoft Surface Tablet. Coding is a very valuable skill to have today because everything is technology-driven. Coding with Microsoft was a first for many of us and now we know that this could be a career option. We learned that there is a shortage of professionals that can code in America. 70,000 jobs need to be filled today! Microsoft’s goal is to introduce and instill excitement about coding and STEM in all kids.
The women we met from Microsoft reminded us how important it is to continue on after our secondary education, speak up loudly and proudly and always give a firm hand shake.
Our last stop of the day was the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. All of us studied this topic in World History our tenth grade year at Carpinteria High School. People from all over the world come to visit this museum to learn more and remember the millions of people who lost their lives at the hands of the Nazis. None of us had relatives that were lost but this is not necessary to fully grasp the horrific tragedy. What happened to the estimated six million lives was unacceptable, savage and inhumane. Wall to wall photos of beautiful faces, a display of thousands of worn shoes and replicas of the trains they traveled to the concentration camps and ghettos (often time their deaths)… it reminds us that we must use our voices to confront hatred.
– Jazmine, Brenda, Lisette, Maria