Well this past week has flown by just like the two before it. While I had expected to begin my training in the OCR office this week, that has been pushed back to the beginning of next week. I was however able to meet my supervisors within that department and they explained me the project that I will be working on. My project will be focused on equality within school districts–both fiscally and the quality of education. They explained that I will be doing a lot of research and getting opportunities to brief the commission and Council on my findings and thoughts concerning the topic. As this progresses I will definitely keep you updated!
Since I wasn’t in the OCR department this week, I was given an opportunity to shadow the Chief Human Capital Officer Robert Buggs for a second week. Although I was very excited for this opportunity, sadly he has remained under the weather and was able to only come into the office for one of our meetings. However, I was able to follow his second in command to some of her meetings. The wonderful thing about following her around was her personality. She is a hard worker, but also has a heart that is larger than life and it was my pleasure to be at her side.
On Friday I was able to have a meeting with a woman that has become like a second mentor to me, or third or fourth as that many people around me are quick to help and give me guidance. Her name is Juliette Rizzo and in addition to an impressive career within the federal government she is also a former Ms. Wheelchair Maryland and Ms. Wheelchair USA. She is truly an amazing woman and it is very humbling to see how much she gives back to the community around her. In addition to having a lengthy conversation with her, she introduced me to a former boss of hers, Judy Heumann. To say that Judy Heumann is instrumental in the advocacy for disability rights would be an understatement. She is basically dedicated her life to disability advocacy and is currently serving under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Meeting with her was as incredible as it was unexpected. We were able to exchange information and she assured me that we would be in contact in the future. The contacts I’m making throughout the city continues to amaze me and I continue to feel as if I may have found the place where I’m supposed to do my life’s work.
On a side note, I was able to do a multitude of the “touristy” things throughout the city this week as that my dad was visiting. We saw many of the Smithsonians, went on a couple tours, and ate at some wonderful restaurants. However, my best story of the week comes from this weekend. We were eating at a famous eatery here in the District owned by one of the former “Top Chefs” called We, The Pizza/Good Stuff Eatery. As we were sitting outside at one of the outdoor tables next to the sidewalk waiting for our buzzer to go off I noticed two gentlemen wearing jackets, backpacks, and hats hastily running towards me. They caught my attention so I was looking them up and down when I noticed they both were carrying a black envelope and as they got closer and noticed the envelope read, “The Amazing race.” How cool is that! Stay classy world…