Texas Right to Life sent 19 Dr. Joseph Graham Fellows to participate in the 45th annual March for Life in Washington D.C. last Friday. The Fellows in attendance were upperclassmen, most graduating in May, and their participation in the march marked the beginning of the end of their college Pro-Life activism. The trip serves as a reward of sorts; the Fellowship requires students to complete at least 50 hours of Pro-Life work on their college campus each semester, and Texas Right to Life wishes to acknowledge their dedication with a special scholarship trip.
The theme for the 2018 March for Life was “Love Saves Lives.” Not only did notable figures like Pam Tebow (mother of Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow), New Jersey Congressman Chris Smith, and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan speak during the pre-march rally, President Donald Trump addressed the hundreds of thousands of march participants, the first sitting president to do so. Along with participating in the march, the students also enjoyed touring the sites in D.C., such as the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the monuments along the National Mall, and a special in-depth tour of the U.S. Capitol, courtesy of Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert (CD 1). Congressman Gohmert spent an extra few hours at the Capitol at the end of his daily schedule to give the Fellows a peek at places off-limits to most Capitol visitors, such as the Speaker of the House’s balcony and the Lincoln Room, an alcove in House Majority Whip Steve Scalise’s office of which President Lincoln was especially fond. At the conclusion of the trip, the majority of the students agreed that this once-in-a-lifetime tour was the highlight of the trip, second only to the march itself.
A secondary, but just as special a highlight of the trip for the students was the quality time they enjoyed with one another. Dr. Joseph Graham Fellows form tight bonds with each other during their time in the program, despite attending colleges in all corners of the state. The trip offered an opportunity to share in a special experience with their peers who understand their zeal for defending innocent human Life in ways other friends may not. Many conversations throughout the weekend carried nostalgia and memories of their time in the Fellowship and tips for staying involved with Texas Right to Life, and the Pro-Life movement as a whole, following the graduation from college and their time in the Fellowship.
Departing our nation’s capital was bittersweet for the Fellows, who were happily anticipating their final stretch of the school year, yet sad for the completion of the trip. Teresa Roach, senior at the University of Dallas, shared that the trip ranks in her top five most enjoyable weekends of college, significant since she spent a semester studying in Rome! The only consolation for the trip coming to an end? Most of the students will see each other this weekend at Texas Right to Life’s Boots on the Ground College Student Conference in Austin, TX!