It was another productive week in DC! This summer has gone by so fast and it is now coming to an end. I find myself wishing we had another month or so in order to continue making connections with people in the area. I feel that I have met so many great people this summer. The networking portion of this program has truly been invaluable.
The highlight of the week for me was going to meet Senator Durbin (D-IL) with my buddy Rak. We were also supposed to meet Senator Kirk (R-IL), as the two Senators generally host the constituent coffee/meet and greet sessions together. However, Senator Kirk is still in Illinois recovering from a stroke. Nevertheless, Rak and I both got our pictures taken with Senator Durbin and had time to talk at length with one of his staffers and an intern (who were honestly two of the greatest people I've met this entire summer)!
It was very interesting to hear Senator Durbin speak at length about certain issues raised by the audience. People did not hold back with the difficult questions; the questions ranged from his stance on abortion to personal stories about access to health care. I was pleasantly surprised by how much my opinion actually aligned with Senator Durbin's opinion on a number of different fronts. Senator Durbin is truly someone who can relate to the people. He explained accounts of trying to support his wife and child when working his way through law school and some of the common struggles he has also faced in life. I came away with a newfound appreciation for the hard work our Senator has done for the state of Illinois. I actually left that morning feeling that working on the Hill could possibly be in my future.
The AAPD program has opened my eyes to the endless possibilities in the greater DC area. I look forward to finding a job in the area and continuing to grow as a person and professional. Thank you for this great experience AAPD!