A More Inclusive Nation – Jahad Carter

As of today, I have lived in DC for three weeks and I can say it’s been pretty epic! My time here has reminded me of a typical coming of age story full of difficulties, adventures and supportive people along the way. In this story you have me, a queer impoverished black kid who saw most of the world through a TV screen. Now I’m roaming the streets of Washington, DC, where America’s greats once governed.

A group has lunch with Representative Deb Haaland

These last few weeks have been some of the hardest, yet most pleasing times of my life. Now, you may be wondering, “What’s the hard part?” For me, it’s easily remembering where I came from and looking at where I am now. I can see every single trapdoor, hurdle, and ditch that I had to climb out of to be here today. What’s even harder is that I remember the people who are still stuck in the pitfalls that I have overcome. When I think of them, I feel immense pressure to succeed in anything that I do. Being here in DC, I feel compelled to be perfect for the ones that couldn’t even get their foot in the door.

However, I seek comfort in the fact that I will soon conquer this challenge and do it for every single person who couldn’t. Every lesson that I learn, every hardship that I face, and every time I succeed, I will do it for the people back home in the hopes that one day DC will become a more attainable place for people who grew up in government housing.

The Victory Congressional Interns pose for a photo in front of the Capitol Building

As I write this blog post, I’m thinking of the single moms I know. I think of the dropouts who I once sat in class with, who later were convicted of crimes they had no choice but to commit.  Most importantly, I’m thinking of my little sisters, Arrin and Cherry, who I want to encourage to do anything they want in this life. I want to make Arrin and Cherry proud! I want them to know that the same brother who would wake up every morning to get them ready for school, is the same brother who is at the Capitol trying to make this nation more inclusive for us all.