Young Leaders of D.C.

Young Leaders of D.C.

Living in D.C. is like living out your imagination. At least, this is the case for people who like to explore the city's historic sites, upscale restaurants and clothing stores.


If you are anything like me, you would like to know more about becoming part of the D.C. community. This was my mission from day one - I made it a priority to build strong relationships with those around me. I have to admit: networking is certainly hard work. You have to sell yourself and share things about yourself almost every second; for example, "Hi, my name is Kassandra and I like pizza (obviously, there are too many times where I have been hungry while networking).


All jokes aside, I am glad to have met Nadia Hassan, Executive Director of the Young Leaders Institute. Last month, Nadia and I met at the Ramadhan Luncheon on Capitol Hill, where many organizations came together to celebrate Eid. During our conversation, Nadia was delighted to ask me to help promote her organization through social media and I, of course, was delighted to say yes!


My first assignment was to recruit young leaders to attend Capitol Hill Lobby Day. I printed out event flyers and handed them out to students and also posted the information on the TWC student portal. I was surprised at the number of students who reached out to me, but also very nervous.


I was concerned that students would not make the effort to show up, since the event was during our internship hours. Also, I had not met most of the people who expressed interest in attending the event. However, I realized that I had to keep an open mind with this kind of event. Regardless of whether we had only ten people show up, I was part of the reason that ten people showed up compared to one or two. Given this role, I knew that I had to continue reaching out to more and more people to register for the event.


The morning of the event, I received a text message from Nadia. She announced to everyone attending the event that we would be meeting at Capitol South Metro station at the bottom of the escalator. Upon arrival, my thoughts were racing - I wondered how many people would really be there. What will she say if only one or two people come?


Within moments, I saw Nadia and a group of happy young leaders come towards the escalator. Nadia approached my circle of friends and announced to my fellow cohorts that I did an amazing job at inviting people to the event. Finally - a sigh of relief.


A group of young leaders on Capitol Hill


The event turned out to be a success! There were many students from The Washington Center who attended, and we were able to meet with several congressmen and senators to discuss issues surrounding immigration and education reform. It was nice to know that American voices still matter and are appreciated.


I felt empowered to be on Capitol Hill that day, and I strongly encourage young adults to address their representatives about any issues they may be concerned about. While interning here in D.C., one thing is certain: you may never know what opportunity lies ahead of you. I suggest that you remain open-minded, because anything is possible in this city.


Read Kassy's previous blog posts

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