Three words/phrases to sum up my LEAD experience: Eye-Opening, Meaningful, Exhausting. Extra emphasis on that last one, I felt completely used up by the time I arrived home yesterday evening. That is primarily due to making the long drive to Tallahassee and back in two days though, LEAD itself was nothing but wonderful.
We had the good fortune of being able to meet with a representative and speak with him about a few bills as well as thank him for some he had a hand in passing last year that benefit our profession. We also met with a few aids and by chance and absolute luck one of the aids we met with supports a representative who works closely with the Parramore community so we were able to schedule a meeting with her for when she is back in town to discuss the community for our community assessment project.
I was grateful for the time spent with classmates bounding over the issues and the experience, that was a really rewarding aspect of the trip for me. The long drive up gave my brother and I time to have some deep conversations we don’t always have time for which was beneficial for us both.
All in all it was well worth the drive, however if I am able to attend in the coming years I plan to do a few things differently like drive up a day or two early and stay an extra day so I am less worn out by that aspect of the trip. I will definitely schedule more meetings next time around now that I have a feel for how everything works. I also think I would stay in a different hotel, I will not get into it but it was not good.
I was up at 4am ready for my big road trip, however a bit sleepy-eyed.
This was my declaration of victory for managing the 5.5 hour drive with no anxiety issues. Long trips in the car are anxiety triggers for me, especially when I am driving and even more so when it rains as it did on the way to Tallahassee. This is the longest road trip I have ever personally driven myself, this was a moment to celebrate, I did well.
Around the Capitol. These are a few of my friends from the program who I work with closely on projects etc. We stayed together most of the day meeting with aids and representatives. The picture in the middle is taken with my classmates and one of my favorite professors and mentors in the program. The last picture is my brother and I in front of the Historic Capitol Building.
After meeting with Representative Jason Brodeur, who is the representative for my brother’s district. Representative Brodeur is wearing the orange tie on the right.