On February 1st, our Inspired Leaders shadowed Virginia 21 on their Lobby Day in the morning and met with their legislators and action planned for the Governor's Award in the afternoon. Read more about Kilyna's experience!
My experience going to Lobby Day is by far an unforgettable moment in my life. During my time there, I got to watch the subcommittee in action adopting and supposedly "laying" bills "gently on the table". I also got to see the Capitol, go into the General Assembly Building, visit the gallery, listen to delegates; senators; legislators.
Upon my stay there, my friend and I shadowed Virginia 21 colleagues that attended Virginia Tech. The students were very welcoming and seemed to be comfortable socializing with us, asking us what we planned on doing with our futures beyond college. The group walked around inside of the General Assembly attending the subcommittee and discussing issues such as funding for colleges with legislators. Afterwards in watching the conversation between the Virginia 21 students and legislators, the group traveled over to the meet one of the senators in the building, refreshing light on some of the bills they believe should be terminated. I found it fascinating just to be in the building alone, looking around seeing high intellectual individuals with professional wear walk around with their work hidden in leather suitcases. Paperwork gathered in their hands as they discussed important matters, it felt very collected and organized.
My favorite part in participating in the event would have to be sitting in the subcommittee and watching the process of how bills are accepted and denied, or perhaps "laid to the side." I got to encounter lots of new information that I didn't understand before going into the building. Something I can definitely confirm coming back out of the General Assembly is discovering what each position withholds, its importance, the process in adopting bills, the discussion going into them, and the interactions with the public. An opportunity I think my government teacher would be intrigued to hear in on.
At the end of the day, when things tended to settled down I reflected on the day for what objectives needed to get done. For the Governor's Award my ideas and motivations came from the overall experience of Lobby Day. Just seeing how the community can speak up and make a difference really energized me to get up and do something. Witnessing how the audience in the subcommittee could get up and speak their mind on a bill convinced me that I could do something similar. In relation to getting students at my high school to register to vote, perhaps I can provide information discussing the importance each young adult voice has. Hopefully giving them insight for the true potential each individual possess.
-Kilyna Nguyen, Inspired Leader at Thomas Dale High School