National Scholars Conference
Congratulations on being named a Horatio Alger scholarship recipient. We look forward to meeting you at the National Scholars Conference in Washington, D.C. from April 1 to April 5. You will receive a detailed travel packet by March 20. The packet includes most of the frequently asked questions answered below, your specific travel details, a name badge, and a letter to provide your school principal. We encourage you to share this website with your parents/guardians or other concerned adults.
How am I getting to Washington, D.C.?
Familiarize yourself with all airline liquid regulations and luggage allowances prior to your trip. You should also make sure you leave room in your suitcase for your return trip since you will have items to bring home from the conference. In general, liquids over 3.4 fl oz are not permitted in your carry-on luggage, and any liquids brought on board must fit into 1-quart sized plastic bag. Checked baggage should not weigh more than 50 lbs., or you will be subject to overweight charges.
You must provide a government issued photo ID at the airport or train station. If you do not have a driver’s license, you must provide another type of photo ID such as a state issued ID or passport. School ID cards may not be sufficient. You may be required to show a government issued photo ID to the airline/train staff upon check-in.
What do I do if I experience a problem while traveling?
Samantha Lindamood, transportation coordinator with our partner, Linder Global, will staff the travel phone for the duration of the conference. If you experience any issues during your travel day, please call 202-286-1700. Parents and guardians may use this number throughout the conference to reach Association staff. Please use this number for travel concerns and emergencies only.
Where will I be staying?
Reservations have been made for you at the Fairmont Hotel, 2401 M Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20037. Association representatives will be sitting in the lobby near the Juniper Restaurant when you arrive and will direct you from there. You do not need to go to the front desk. You will receive information about your rooming assignment when you arrive. Scholars are roomed and assigned to a floor by gender. Professional security officers will be on each floor occupied by Scholars for the duration of the conference.
Wi-Fi (internet) is not included with your room and will not – under any circumstance – be provided. Please plan accordingly.
Who is supervising the conference?
Full-time Horatio Alger Association staff, volunteers and our event partners have organized the conference. Ron Nicola and Aaron House will represent the Association throughout the week and will be available to answer any questions you may have.
Scholars are organized into groups of approximately twenty. We call these groups teams. Each team has one male and one female “Team Leader”. Team leaders are an outstanding group of individuals who volunteer their time to supervise this event. All team leaders are former scholarship recipients themselves.
What do I do if I experience a medical issue?
The Association has secured the services of a school nurse and an emergency medical technician (EMT) for the duration of the conference. They travel with us to all events and sleep at the Fairmont Hotel.
We have the medical form that you submitted on file. Please inform us of any new developments. Be certain to bring any medical supplies/medications that you may require.
What will we be doing while in Washington, D.C.?
How much money should I bring?
All of your meals and lodging will be covered by the Association. However, you may want to bring spending money to purchase postcards or souvenirs. Since the conference schedule is very full, it is suggested that you purchase incidentals you may need before leaving home. You will not – under any circumstance – be allowed to leave the group to make purchases upon arrival.
What should I pack?
We encourage you to show this information to any adult in your life who can help you to prepare for the trip. Family members, family friends, people at your high school (teachers, counselors, administrators), employers, and/or community organizations are individuals and groups National Scholars often turn to for assistance. You can also call the Horatio Alger Association about dress code issues at (800) 684-9040. Bring only necessities. Leave room in your luggage for gifts you will receive on-site.
|CLOTHES YOU WILL NEED||CLOTHES YOU WILL NOT NEED|
|· Business wear
· Nylons for each day (bring several pairs)
· Black/skin tone nylons for formal events
· Comfortable dress shoes, dress socks, dress belt, black socks
· 1- 2 pairs of nice jeans and casual shirts
· Your Horatio Alger Scholar t-shirt*
· 1 pair of casual shoes for free time
|· Flip flops or casual sandals
· Sleeveless or tank shirts
· Sunback or spaghetti strap tops
· Short skirts
· Clothing that exposes your midsection
· Ripped or torn clothing
|PROVIDED BY HOTEL||ITEMS TO BRING|
|· Iron and Ironing board
· Blow dryer
· Sample sizes of shampoo/body wash/hand soap
· Personal hygiene products
· Batteries (for camera, if necessary)
*All Scholars will receive a t-shirt at the address provided during the acceptance process.
How should I dress?
We will visit locations such as the United States Supreme Court and the Portrait Gallery. When in doubt, dress conservatively. Avoid sheer or low cut tops as well as skirts that are more than one inch above the knee. Please dress in business casual clothing on your arrival day.
It is very important that you wear comfortable shoes at all times (that includes your business attire). We will be walking a lot. “Comfortable shoes” does not mean sneakers. Do not wear new shoes or extremely high heels.
The Association will provide full-length black gowns as well as tuxedos to wear to the Awards Induction Ceremony. The gowns/tuxedos will be checked for fit after you arrive in Washington. Tuxedos will come with shoes; please bring black socks. Female Scholars, please bring a pair of black or nude color pantyhose and black dress shoes to wear with the formal dress.
See the images below for reference.
Why am I receiving a check?
Each Scholar will be provided a check to help offset any bag fees (if you have them), as well as funds to purchase lunch on the return trip home ($10.00 or $20.00 depending on the length of your flight).
The Association will provide sufficient funds for your bag fees; no additional funds will be supplied if you use the bag fee funds prior to or during your time in Washington, D.C.
I am anxious about traveling. What should I do?
We understand that traveling alone can be an anxiety inducing experience. Please review our travel tips below to help you navigate the travel day.
- Most major airlines and Amtrak have free mobile apps that provide prompt and accurate information on boarding gates, terminal maps, etc. to aid you while you are in transit. We encourage you to download the app for the airline you are flying/train you are taking.
- The evening before you travel, check your flight/train status by visiting the website of the airline/train you will be using. Use the provided travel information to review your itinerary. If you see any problems, contact the Association immediately.
- If you are checking luggage, go to your airline’s ticket counter inside the terminal. The curbside check-in counter does not take cash payment.
- Verify with the agent at the ticket counter the gate number for your flight/train. You may also need to have the agent print your boarding pass. You may do it yourself at one of the airline’s/train station’s check-in kiosks. If you are checking luggage, they will put a luggage claim tag on your bag(s). Make sure that you wait for them to do this before leaving the desk.
- If you have to take your bag to be inspected, follow all issued instructions.
- Follow signs to your assigned gate and to the security check area leading to your assigned gate.
- Once you arrive at your assigned gate, stay alert and check departure screens near the gate in case there are any gate change announcements.
- If you are scheduled to change planes during your trip:
- As soon as you get off the plane and enter the terminal, find the nearest airline agent and verify the terminal and gate number for your connecting flight.
- You can check departure screens to find the terminal and gate number for your connecting flight.
- If you are concerned about being able to make it to the connecting gate in time for your departure, be forceful about finding an airline agent. Ask for their help in getting to the proper gate.
- When you land at your final destination, follow the airport signs to the baggage claim area or to the information desk if traveling by train. This is where you will meet representatives from RMA Worldwide, who will help you with your luggage to the shuttles and to the Fairmont Hotel.
- If you have any problems during your travel day, contact airport employees for help or call the Horatio Alger Association’s travel line at 202-286-1700.