Monday, August 1, 2011

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Second to last week in Washington, D.C.! It is hard to believe our time here is almost up. Although I am eager to begin my second year of law school, I am a bit melancholy at the thought of leaving my awesome internship in the Senate, as well as leaving the awesome new friends I have made here. I think most of my fellow AAPD interns are feeling similar emotions. I for one am already looking forward to returning next summer to intern here in our Nation’s capitol!

This past week was a great week. Once again! I feel as though I am beginning to sound like a broken record, but this has been the best summer of my adult life. Remember when you were a kid and on the first day of school you had to tell the class what you did on your summer vacation? Yeah, I remember that too. I hope I have that chance, because here is what I did:

I went to Washington, DC. And I met a bunch of really cool people, who just happened to have a disability. I made a bunch of new friends, many of whom taught me numerous lessons about adversity, struggle, and overcoming obstacles. And I met many people who are leaders and fighters in the disability movement. Some are ordinary people who have done extraordinary things. Some are elected officials who use their power and influence to make life better for those of us with disabilities. And others are privileged to have resources which they choose to utilize to benefit others, especially folks like us.

And I saw lots of monuments and museums and churches and stadiums. And the U.S. Open Golf Championship. There were concerts on the mall, free performances at the Kennedy, and some Shakespeare (thanks Leah!) thrown in for good measure. I was awed, amazed, humbled, excited, and moved. That was just sight-seeing. I was able to experience a week of seeing museums, and performances, and visiting the homes of our Founding Fathers with my daughter and my parents. What could be better?

Not better, I think, but on par with the above, was my placement with a committee in the Senate. I got up every day enthused about going to Congress and working hard to assist the good people who fight to make the lives of former servicemen and women better. As someone who served in the military during a non-combat period, I am humbled by those who have fought for our country. And I did my best to support the Committee staff as they work to secure the benefits and health care our former troops so richly deserve. Occasionally, I was able to identify an urgent need, and pass that along to staff that made things happen, and found a way to solve the issue. That was extremely rewarding.

And yes, I was able to network. I have a number of folks now who have assured me they will pick up the phone and call someone if I need an introduction or a reference. I have couple of interviews set up during our final week, to hopefully secure an internship here in DC next summer. I can’t imagine being anywhere else!

Thank you to everyone who made this summer unforgettable, most notably everyone connected with the AAPD Summer Internship Program- the interns, the staff, and the benefactors and sponsors. I could not have had this experience without your help and generous support!

That’s how I spent my summer vacation…

Rick Sommer

1 comment:

  1. I love Washington, DC, not only for it's history, but for the traditions and customs around the town. work in canada is an important aspect of Canadian immigration. I enjoy helping tourists find their way around downtown and sharing my extensive knowledge of the city.


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