Thirty-two members of the Top Gun Time Travelers left Monday for an eight-day tour of the State of Louisiana, as part of the group’s quest to study all 50 United States.
The group was dubbed “Time Travelers” by Scouting Magazine for its extensive efforts to help inner-city youth study and travel beyond their neighborhoods looking for ideas and ways to improve their community.
Since 1985, the group has traveled the entire United States twice, and is now on its third time around.
“Our Louisiana study began in January,” said Debra Isaac, a senior at Wossman High School. Isaac is the leader of the 2019 travel group. “We watched videos of Louisiana history including films about Governor Huey P. Long, and the Louisiana economy,” said Isaac.
The Time Travelers is sponsored by Tab-N-Action, Inc, a community service organization of the Tabernacle Baptist Church.
“It’s been a thrill to help broaden the horizons of these youth, many of whom have graduated from college with Master’s Degrees and PhD’s,” said Roosevelt Wright, Jr., leader of the Time Travelers.
The group’s tours are funded from the proceeds of the Annual Black Heritage Drama and local civic leader sponsors.
“We were fortunate to have many civic sponsors this year to help underwrite the $20,000 cost of this year’s tour,” said Wright.
The students began their journey by studying Monroe history from its humble origins as a trading post, Fort Miro and receiving its name “Monroe” after President James Monroe. They took a ten-mile walking tour through the city’s black community identifying historical sites such as the “Monroe Colored High” site, the Henry Carroll Home, and the homes of Monroe’s three Black mayors.
Students are armed with notebooks, IPads, and software to write reports and post a video journal on Facebook to document what they have learned.
“We took the Louisiana History curriculum of state and turned it into a living visual tour. When many of them get to that unit, it will be a piece of cake,” says Wright.
The group left Monroe Monday and will tour the swamps in Acadiana, The Tobasco Hot Sauce Factory in New Iberia, an Oil rig in Morgan City, The Essence Festival in New Orleans, LSU and Southern and The State Capital in Baton Rouge.
“We carry them to college campuses such as GSU, LSU, and SU so that they begin to think of themselves as college students one day,” said Wright. “It’s important because there are many in the school system that are steering students away from college toward manual labor. Once they’ve been on a college campus, they can picture themselves with a college degree. We must not give up,” said Wright.
They will close out their tour with a fun day at Blue Bayou Water Park in Baton Rouge, before returning Monday.
Time Travelers begin their journeys at 9 years old and over the course of eight years will visit and study all 50 states.