Birmingham Students Experience Once in a Lifetime Trip to Paris

With the help of the Franklin Ovid Birmingham Memorial Land Trust, twenty Wylie High School students got the opportunity to spend spring break in Paris, France. Judy Webber, Amy Hunt, Sheely House, Brent Ringo, Joby Focke and Gary Brown chaperoned the trip.

The F.O. Birmingham trust, initially established to benefit WISD students in manual training such as Welding, was expanded in 1950 to benefit Advanced Placement American History and Advanced Placement Chemistry students. This year, the trust funded the students’ trip to France by footing 70% of the traveling expenses, so the students were required to pay only $700.

The land trust chooses to fund the student trips to give students the chance to travel and enjoy the world. “It’s an enhancement. We wanted the students to have an opportunity other students may not have in other schools” Executive Director of the Birmingham trust, Jon Lewis said.

For most of these students, the trip was more than just a vacation, it was also very educational. They got a chance to visit the site of the D-Day invasion, the Point du hoc. They also got the opportunity to learn some French history by visiting the Chateau de Versailles, the Arromanches Museum and the Louvre.

“I loved being in a new place and enjoyed learning about both the old European world and the modern world collide in all the things we saw and did” senior Neil Hiddink said.

Advanced Chemistry students in particular enjoyed the trip to the Pasteur Museum – dedicated to the life, memory and work of scientist Louis Pasteur – and Palais de la Decouverte, created by the Physics Nobel Prize winner Jean Baptiste Perrin, to see exhibits of famous math, physics, astronomy, and chemistry inventions.

“It was unforgettable!” senior AJ Walker said. “Everything was so beautiful and fun. I just took it all in and enjoyed every moment.”

The Birmingham trust fulfilled its goal of helping students create memorable experiences through education. For the students, the trip was a blissful end to their high school experience.