Currently, I am a student at the George Washington University, majoring in Criminal Justice. From the first moment of orientation, I heard that you can’t fully experience DC without being here for the summer. So far, this summer in DC has been an amazing experience. I was given the opportunity to finally see the various areas in DC and explore the sights without the stress of schoolwork hovering over my head. But I have also been given a chance to intern at the Congressional Coalition on Adoption. Thus far, it is one of the enthralling parts of my summer.
As one of the programming interns, I have the pleasure of assisting with programs that deal with adoption and foster care. At the moment, I am working on one of the most significant events pertaining to child welfare in the nation, Angels in Adoption. In order for Angels in Adoption to be successful, I have to help make sure that members of the CCA as well as other members of Congress nominate an “Angel.” Angels are constituents that have dedicated their life to adoption and foster care and have done outstanding work related to this field. Day by day and phone call after phone call, at the end day helps us increase the awareness of child welfare in this country, as well as around the world.
Hailing from Worthington, Ohio, I completely understand the need to increase the awareness of child welfare. In Ohio, there are about 14,000 children in foster care and 2,500 are awaiting homes. I believe that every child has a basic right to a safe and loving home. To know that not every child is being brought up by a loving family they can call their own is extremely heartbreaking. At the same time, there are many people capable of loving a child and looking to build their family. It is this connection that CCAI also helps develop. Another issue of great importance is the need to improve the foster care system. Many that age out of the system, lack the tools and education to be successful and fulfill their goals. The Foster Youth Program allows a select group of those that have been in the system to hold an internship as well as voice their concerns from personal experience on the foster care system in the United States.
My fellow interns and the staff here all share the same passion to improve the foster care and adoption policies and so far it has been an amazing adventure. Working downstairs and making phone calls or sending countless emails, all matters. I have never once felt like I was done tedious or pointless work because we are all together working toward the same goal. To know that I am part of something bigger than myself, is incredibly rewarding.