Vivian Bailey, a 97-year-old Army veteran and Maryland resident, had one of her wishes come true Tuesday when she went on a field trip to the White House and met President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, My Fox DC reports.
The trip was especially meaningful since Bailey grew up in the segregated South in the 1920s, and field trips were denied to many African-American students. Bailey has devoted her time over the past 10 years to philanthropic initiatives that give students from low-income families the opportunity to go on field trips, My Fox DC reports.
“I grew up in segregation in Tulsa, Okla.—and then I went in the Army and we were segregated in the Army also,” Bailey said. “And we had marvelous, marvelous teachers, but we didn’t have field trips. Now, whether the white students had them or not, I don’t know.”
Bailey explained that some students in different parts of the state came from wealthy households and could afford to go on field trips. She never liked that arrangement and believes that all children—regardless of their family’s economic status—should be able to go on trips to gain such experience.
“Because the children out on the western part of the county, where we have all these millionaires, they get these fabulous field trips,” Bailey said. “The parents of these children don’t have that type of money and I’m just determined that our children get the advantage of field trips.”
Bailey is specifically involved with Running Brook Elementary in Columbia, Md., and ensuring that its students have the resources they need to go on trips. Bailey’s first field trip was May 1 to the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. It was then that she expressed interest in visiting the White House, and a few weeks later, that wish came true, My Fox DC reports.
“At any age, you can learn and have new experiences, so to me, this was a very rewarding one,” said Bailey.
Read more at My Fox DC.