The last ten days did not disappoint. Forget Disney World, The Washington Center is an organization where dreams come true. In the last year I have been on two adventures with this organization and it has moved me and inspired my learning and my life. A dream came true when I was able to see with my own two eyes the president of the United States swear into office and give his speech. I remember where I was and what I was thinking four years ago for President Obama’s first inauguration. I was sitting in the cafeteria watching one of the televisions. This was before I ever wanted to go into politics, but I remember thinking that I wanted to be there to witness such an enormous occasion. I never imagined that I would be there four years later. The Inauguration is something I will always cherish. Waking up at three in the morning, being with friends, and witnessing history are just some of the aspects of the day.
President Obama’s speech was the hands down highlight of the inauguration. I thought his speech was very telling of not only where he wants to take the country in the future but where we have been in the past. He addressed a lot of topics that I agreed with. He mentioned immigration, gay rights, Middle East Wars, Equality for Women, Social Security, the national deficit, and political polarization. I particularly liked the portion where he said that “But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future”. This obviously represents the president’s interest into addressing Social Security and making sure that young Americans will have a retirement fund. This certainly has been a topic of debate that has pinned young against old on the issue and I have very interested in what President Obama will do to address the issues regarding Social Security.
Now that the ten day Washington Center Program is over I am blue because it was a wonderful experience. I loved the seminar portion and learning from those who have hands on experience in their fields within the realm of politics. I made it a goal to make it to the microphone as many times as I could and I think that made a difference in not only representing my school but making the speakers notice me. Rodell Mollineau, president of American Bridge 21st Century which is a super PAC emailed me after he spoke at our program. I also felt the site visits were very useful in not only learning but in networking. If I had a choice to repeat the last ten days I would do it in a heartbeat. I was with a great group of friends from Juniata that made the Inauguration day a little less cold because we were all together taking in the site.