Friday wrapped up my first week interning during the House Session, which I have come to learn is a lot different (in a good way) than recess. With the Congresswoman in, the front office has to deal with many incoming meetings a day, plus tours, phones, and other special errands. It is quite exciting in the halls of the Capitol buildings!
Out of all the returned chaos, however, the Congresswoman had time in her schedule host all four of us interns in her office for a Q&A over lunch, a rare opportunity for Hill interns! I was excited about this meeting not only to personally meet the name on the office door, but to learn what drove her to public service and what advice she had for us aspiring leaders
Through our candid conversation I was humbled to learn that when she was younger, Congresswoman Bonamici never really saw herself in this type of national office. It was through hard work, encouragement, and the timely ringing of opportunity that brought her into this position. I was inspired by her constant consideration of the needs of her community and thoughtfulness presented in every action and decision. And, as one of only eighty-four women serving in the House of Representatives, I especially appreciate her leadership that encourages young women like me to get involved in the political process.
She advised us to make the most out of internship and meet as many people and attend as many hearings and briefings as possible. Since I am interested in education policy, and the Congresswoman happens to be very involved with it in her work, I asked “what do you envision as the perfect public education system.” Her answer was simple, “Something that inspires the joy of learning.”