Friday, June 18, 2010

A Move from the Mundane

I have talked about some pretty dry policy and legislative issues for a couple of posts, but as everyone knows, DC is more than the center for our federal government. It’s a living, breathing metropolis full of interesting people from all walks of life. Last night, I had the opportunity to meet and socialize with a variety of people who belong to an organization called the “Hidden Army”. They describe themselves as a group “for the next generation of leaders within the disability community, who happen to live in the DC metro area.” Their membership base includes both people with or without disabilities, but they do request that you have “an interest in the disability community, culture, history, and public policy. The Hidden Army hosts a dinner or happy hour gathering every so often throughout the year. This month, they all met at the Black Finn Restaurant near the Farragut West area of DC. Since a couple of my suitemates and I had heard about this through our AAPD orientation, we decided to give it a shot, and I am really glad we did. Even though we were all a little late (the event started at 6pm, we didn’t get there until 6:30pm because of work), everyone was very welcoming and inviting. We were able to recognize a few faces from people who had spoken at out AAPD orientation, but we also had the opportunity to network with some new individuals. I had a great time speaking with both Sarah Jacobs and Daniel Davis last night. Sarah volunteered with AAPD for some time, and she is going to be starting a new job at the IRS soon. It was great to hear about her past experience within AAPD, and it was also really exciting to hear the details of her new career. Sarah also gave me some great “girly” advice about the city in general….where to shop, the salons to go to, etc which I highly appreciate. The other person I had the opportunity to speak with was Daniel Davis who works for Health and Human Services. I am very interested in the field of Public Health, so when I heard where he worked, the first thought that clicked in my head was “I HAVE to speak with this guy”. Daniel is a fountain of information, and he is more than willing to share his experience with the next generation of leaders which was excellent. After last night, I am very excited to communicate with both Sarah and Daniel more as well as any others I meet at future Hidden Army events. I would also like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the founders of the Hidden Army. I think it is great that young professionals with a similar tie can all get together to both relax and network in a setting such as this. Thank you very, very much!!

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