On the Hill with the 2018 Youth Advocacy Summit
The word “citizenship” often floods out of our mouths in hot contention. We like to pair it with words like "immigration” or “asylum seeker.” But when we’re not putting two and two together, citizenship is seldom heard. Although the definition of a citizen is incessantly questioned for those who lack the title, constituents like myself don’t often receive the same examination.
In our rigid, binary political atmosphere citizenship is heavily polarized. And if you’re either in or you’re out, I would like to know what it means to be “in.” Does my legal status qualify my voice in the United States, or is the level to which I advocate and exercise that voice? Yesterday, at the Global Campaign for Education Youth Advocacy Summit, the Youth Advocacy leaders helped confirm my answer.
As an intern with GCE-US I was invited to join a group of youth advocates who were prepped and ready to take on Capitol Hill. The leaders had spent the past few months training through online seminars and activities, and had just finished off a workshop day listening to speakers from various GCE-US partner organizations. Our Hill day began bright and early with a full agenda of meetings with representatives from the House and Senate.
I was tremendously inspired and impressed by the level of confidence each youth leader wielded while meeting with representatives. Every leader displayed a steadfast dedication to the empowerment of youths internationally through increased global education funding. Above all, I was in awe of their ability to utilize access to our public servants and to employ the power of an ask. The GCE-US Youth Advocacy Summit helps define active citizens. It was a great pleasure getting to know them.
Katie Loos is from Pomfret, Connecticut and has been interning with the Global Campaign for Education since the Fall of 2017. Katie is a rising junior at George Washington University, majoring in Human Services and Social Justice with minors in Sustainability and Spanish. Katie plans to pursue her masters in public administration as a part of a five-year combined bachelors and masters program at GW.