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The Ron Fisher African American History Educational Fund supported their first all-expenses paid trip to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. On March 27, 50 Greater Johnstown High School students, who are currently studying African American history and literature, traveled to our nation’s capital for a first-hand educational experience.

“The students had a really amazing day,” said Christian Wrabley, an eighth grade civics teacher at Greater Johnstown High School. “They loved their time at the museum. Everyone was drawn to different exhibits and stories and came away with their own new knowledge.”

Participating students submitted survey responses about their experience at the museum, allowing them to reflect on multiple themes including personal connection, cultural impact, current events, and future learning. The responses not only expressed their appreciation, but also showed how impactful the learning experiences that take place outside of the classroom can be.

The Ron Fisher African American History Educational Fund was created in memory of the late Ronald Fisher, a Tribune-Democrat reporter who had a passion for the Johnstown community and for education. The fund is used to provide opportunities for local students to experience African American history first-hand.

“I was overjoyed that we were able to support a field trip this year,” said Ron’s sister and fund founder, Alexis Fisher. “It is something that we had been working toward for several years. I believe that it is important for students to experience the museum and its history as well as the city of Washington D.C. Many students had not been to the museum or the city before. I am delighted that we were able to support them to do so.”

Since the fund’s inception in 2020, Alexis has started multiple efforts within the community including the annual Black History Month essay and poster contest in conjunction with The Tribune-Democrat, as well as a speaking series at Greater Johnstown School District. The fund also participated in Johnstown’s Juneteenth event and has provided African American literature books to local students. Alexis is already planning ideas for next school year and hopes the fund will continue to expand and provide more field trips and speaker events.

“Ron believed in Johnstown and the local youth,” said Alexis “He wanted to see the town thrive. This fund is simply my way of trying to continue his work and keep his legacy alive. I think—and I hope—that he would be very pleased with the work that has been done so far. We have more to do!”

To learn more about the Ron Fisher African American History Educational Fund or to donate to the fund, visit our website. You may also contact Namita Gallo, Scholarships and Gifts Administrator, at 814-225-1266 for more information.

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