Inner-City Students Trying to Raise Money for Holocaust History Tour

Filed under: In The News

Auschwitz camp

Auschwitz is just one of the places a group of inner-city students hope to visit this spring for a trip focusing on World War II death camps. Credit: Adam Jones, Ph.D., Flickr

A trip of a lifetime has low-income students planning fund-raisers and seeking benefactors, hoping to make enough money by March to travel to Europe to study the Holocaust.
According to the New York Daily News, after studying about Auschwitz and the Holocaust in a global history class, nine black and Latino students at New York City's High School for Law Advocacy and Community Justice are planning a trip to learn more about the World War II atrocities.

The newspaper reports that the students have raised more than $7,000 through donations and candy sales. But they are still nearly $17,000 short for the trip that will encompass visits to the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary and Poland. According to the Daily News, the excursion, hosted by Education First Cultural Travel, will cost $2,591 per person, with the money due in mid-March.

The students have an upcoming school fundraiser in the cafeteria planned and have been "peddling goodies ranging from face cream to Pilates classes to cover the costs," the newspaper reports.

Mike Lesser, a businessman who overheard teachers discussing the trip at a Starbucks, plans to donate beauty products from his Web site, thehealthyplan.com, for the fundraising effort, the Daily News says.

The freshmen and sophomores are interested in going on the 11-day trip because of how their world history class has influenced their view of the world, the newspaper says.

Sophomore Natasha Flowers tells the Daily News she used to ridicule Hasidic Jews on the subway.

"Kingston Ave. -- they'd be on the train," she tells the newspaper. "We would laugh at them. Then I learned about the Holocaust and I know what they went through ... I never made fun of Jews again."

Although some parents aren't able to, others are stretching to provide financial support.

"I don't like kids to be limited in their thinking," Kirk Sharpe, 49, tells the Daily News. Sharpe, who is raising eight children on a $35,000 salary, the paper reports, has "charged $700 on three credit cards to help pay for his daughter Tasia, 18."

Christine Fryer, the students' global history teacher, tells the Daily News this is "a learning experience."

"Our students are inner-city minorities," she says. "They feel that they deal with oppression and discrimination. They see white people as a collective oppressor. For them to see the oppression of other groups, especially a white group, it is an eye-opener for them."

Related: How the Recession Made Me More Religious

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