Some 30 students in the Jersey City teen mentoring program took a field trip to the National Museum of African-American History and Culture. (Photo courtesy Jersey City) 

A trip to Washington D.C. was a real eye-opener for a group of Jersey City students.

Some 30 teen mentoring students from School 41 took a field trip Tuesday to the National Museum of African-American History and Culture and came away with a new appreciation for the civil rights struggles of African-Americans.

The trip was sponsored by the city and the Department of Recreation, in partnership with New Jersey City University, officials said, noting it is part of the citywide youth mentoring program designed to build recreational, academic and cultural enrichment.

“This new information changed my understanding about back history and exposed me to new things that I never thought I would be able to experience,” said Prosper Obast, an eighth-grader at School 41. “I can help others by telling them how we don’t always have to resort to violence.

“In retrospect this experience inspired me to become someone greater than myself in the future, and even though I had fun with my friends I got to meet new people and get a new perspective on life.”

The students saw exhibits in people like Malcolm X, Harriet Tubman, Booker T. Washington and Martin Luther King.

“As we look to mold our young men and women, it is important to provide educational opportunities which will enrich their overall development,” Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop said. “This field trip will provide students who otherwise may not have had the opportunity, a rewarding lifetime experience of visiting the nation’s capital while learning about African-American history.”

City officials said parent can find out more information on the mentoring program, including how to enroll your child or become a youth mentor, by calling the Recreation Department at 201-547-5003.

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