Sunny and 75

Sunny and 75

What a week! I finally saw the results of all the work I've been doing all semester in Scottsdale, Arizona at the American Legislative Exchange Council's annual State and Nation Policy Summit. This week was a perfect testament to the amount of opportunities doing an internship with The Washington Center provides for you. They set me up with this amazing think tank that shares all of the same views as me, and allowed me to attend this all week event where I met countless new people and learned so many new things. I was sad the trip had to come to an end. I have to say, though, one of the things I will miss most about Arizona is their weather. Sunny and warm in December?! That's something I will not be experiencing next week in New York.

 

Took this when we were almost in Arizona. Definitely made the 6 hour plane ride a bit more enjoyable!

 

When we arrived at the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa on Tuesday where we were staying and the conference was being held, we had no time to waste. We were told to run upstairs and drop our stuff and then come down and get right to work. First, we set up all of the state flags in the room where all the meals were going to be held and then we made center pieces for the Holiday Reception the following night. The day ended with a delicious meal at P.F. Chang's. It was my first time ever eating there but definitely not my last!

 

Wednesday was the first super tiring day. We had to be downstairs by 7am ready to work. I spent the entirety of Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday checking people's name tags to ensure they had the right one to be there, setting up for various meetings and meals, doing last minute printing, signing people into different sessions, and trying my best to be as mature as possible in such a professional setting.

 

 

Wednesday night, my job was to stand in the lobby of the hotel and let everyone know where the Holiday Reception was. As you might be able to tell from this picture, I actually found this task to be very fun. I think I said "outside and to the right" more times than I ever will in my life.

 

Friday was just full of excitement. First, I attended a session about situational awareness. I was accompanied by many state legislators from around the country. One legislator raised her hand at the end of the session and asked the moderator and the group for ideas about how to reach out to "young whippersnappers" and get them more involved in politics. The moderator told her her first step should be to not call them whippersnappers. Everyone laughed and then he allowed the other people attending the session answer her question. As a young whippersnapper, I thought she would appreciate hearing from me since I'm part of the age group she wants to reach out to. I was VERY nervous to raise my hand and answer her question and I waited until the last possible minute but finally I did it. It felt great to speak to such a large group of elected officials. After the session ended, two legislators approached me and asked me to elaborate more on what I said. It made me feel good to know they were listening and know I could help.

 

Right after that session, I got to see presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson speak at lunch. He's one of my favorite candidates so to see him in such a personal setting was like a dream come true. As usual, he was amazing and a wonderful way to end this summit.

 

 

Two of the many pictures I took. None of them were great quality but these will have to do!

 

As you can see, I took advantage of the ALEC backdrop set up in the hotel.

 

Thanks ALEC for such an amazing and unforgettable experience!

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