I have enjoyed my time in Washington DC! I have done so many things I would not have done if I lived anywhere else. I hope to be able to come back to DC and visit. Washington DC is where my heart is. (I left my heart in DC!) Through my time here in DC I was able to attend my first CPAC, get involved with International Justice Mission, meet some incredible people, spend time in Washington DC and meet several Fox News hosts.
In March I was able to attend my first and probably last CPAC conference. This was a conference that laid out the Republicans plan for improving this country as well as winning elections in 2014 and 2016. Gov. Palin, Rick Santorum, Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, Ben Carson and so many more spoke at this conference. I was able to attend several breakout sessions including one on the future of journalism in the era of newspapers fading away; I also attended a student luncheon with two of my favorite journalists Michelle Fields as well as Katie Pavlich. I met and connected with several politicians including Rick Santorum, Gov. Palin, Jeb Bush, and future Virginia Governor Ken Cuccinelli. I was also given the ability to get so many politicians to sign my book; it’s also meant a lot to me when they actually sign my name to the book along with their signature. My favorite person I met at CPAC outside of my two favorite reporters was Col. Allen West. This CPAC showed me what issues the GOP were fighting for and against.
In early October of 2012, I experienced my introduction to the issue of human trafficking and modern day slavery through the organization called International Justice Mission. I was able to take a tour of the IJM Headquarters in October. As soon as I got through that tour, I immediately signed up to volunteer. I have been volunteering ever since. My main responsibilities have been preparing documents for mailing as well as inputting data. Through my time with IJM I was given the opportunity to attend two key events that IJM hosts throughout the year Lobby Day as well as their Global Prayer Gathering. Lobby Day is a time when advocates from around the country come together to lobby their state delegates to keep the fight going to end trafficking and slavery. I learned a lot through lobbying my congressional delegates. One thing I learned was that one of my senators is on the Senate Caucus for Human Trafficking. The other event was the Global Prayer Gathering. This is an event where people from around the globe and around the United States come together to pray for the end of modern day slavery as well as praying for all the ijm staff that serve around the world. This event really opened my eyes to the severity of trafficking and slavery that is going on throughout the world. These two events I highly encourage everyone to attend. The people that work at International Justice Mission have become like family to me; everyone is so nice and welcoming.
I have had the privilege of seeing many sights around Washington DC including the Capitol, Washington Monument, Air & Space Museum and so many more incredible monuments. In Washington DC I was able to attend a Washington Nationals game at Nationals Park. My favorite spot in DC was the Vietnam Memorial; that memorial shows that people do die in order to protect our freedom whether they agree with the reasons behind the war or not. In Washington DC I was able to meet several Foxnews stars as well as Townhall writers including Dana Perino, Andrea Tantaros, Bill Bennett, Pat Buchanan and several others.
Washington DC is not my official home but it still has meaning to me more than any other place I have temporarily lived including California, Iowa. However I believe I have learned everything in the DC Metro Area and now I can go back home to Alaska and use the knowledge I gained through CPAC, IJM and my experiences in DC to improve Alaska for the better. In Alaska I’m hoping to start an IJM Chapter in Wasilla. That is all I have had the opportunity to experience during my time in Washington DC.