By BRITTNEY BARROS
June 29, 2018
I started off my Monday nervous. I looked at my intern calendar first thing in the morning and saw I was assigned to my first Capitol Visitors Center (CVC) tour. The beautiful architecture of the Capitol is quite intimidating. How could I express in words to the visitors the historical background this building has? I studied my tour notes anxiously hoping that I would be able to provide the most insightful tour the visitors had ever received. “Brittney, your tour is ready,” I hear my Intern Coordinator call out to me. I greeted my first tour with a big smile and welcoming heart, ready to show them our Nation’s most powerful establishment.
First, we entered the Crypt; next, the Rotunda, making our way through the oldest Supreme Court Chamber and analyzing the exact moments in history where the founding fathers met to establish our Country. After the tour, I thanked them for coming. They praised me for how good of a job I did and how much of an impact the tour had on their knowledge of history and their trip. I share this story to reflect on how as a congressional intern I can impact people’s lives.
Later that week, I had the opportunity to participate in a Latina Leaders Summit for Latinas that want to run for office one day, which fits me perfectly. I heard stories of perseverance from Latina congresswomen, such as State Senator Sylvia Garcia (D-TX) and U.S. Representative Norma Torres (D-CA). They spoke about their trials and tribulations in running for office. Hearing their testimony inspired me as a young Latina with dreams of becoming a public servant.
Finally, to top off the end of the week, I witnessed an immigration protest with over 600 activists fighting for immigrant rights, ending detention camps, and reuniting families. This protest took place at the Hart Senate Building, right where my office is! I looked down from the 7th floor as the protestors chanted “Where are the children?” “We care,” and “Abolish ICE.” I felt goosebumps throughout my body as this organized chaos continued to fight for change. This protest reflected that the power belongs to the people.
I have had amazing opportunities through CCAI and my congressional office. From serving constituents by giving them tours, to witnessing a powerful protest, to going to events impacting my identity and community, this dual internship has provided me with everlasting memories, opportunities, and people with whom I can connect.