OUT ON THE HILL is the official blog of the Victory Congressional Interns. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of LGBTQ Victory Institute. Learn more about the internship at victoryinstitute.org/vci.
I am starting to realize that I think I belong “on the field”, more engaged with the populations I want to ultimately help and serve.
The LGBTQ+ Victory Institute internship helps queer individuals make impact in a more “behind-the-scenes”’ way. Victory Congressional Interns are able to help bring about positive changes by doing works of the interior with contributions to proposed policies.
When I was handling phone calls from constituents, a woman had called on behalf of herself and her child. She mentioned that her tax return was taking longer than expected and she was requesting the Congressman to somehow expedite the process. She was in such a vulnerable state that she admitted how desperate she was for help. As much as I wanted to further assist her, I had to follow guidebook and what I was able to do and referred her to the Congressman’s official website. I felt so helpless and useless. I wish I could have done more for her and her child.
This encounter made me feel a strong need to be able to directly help those with similar needs.
Along with that, I have found that to help bring about long-term positive changes in communities and societies, the LGBTQ+ Victory Institute provides above and beyond all the necessary tools to become a leader and team player on Capitol Hill and beyond. Personally, I yearn to be able to have direct contact and interactions with clients and help bring about short-term or temporary changes to lead to a better future and positive long-term outcome.
Other than that realization, I had another mind-boggling incident occur. I was given the task to find out another Congressman’s office staffer information for our office fellow. The Congressman’s office was unable to take my calls and since the office was right next door, I decided to go over physically for the requested information. Prior to going to the office, I knew that the Congressman represented New York State, but I did not know which district. I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that he represents the district where I was born and raised.
The Victory program made me want to take this task as more than just another task and as an opportunity to network and connect more than ever. I went to the office next door, requested the information from the legislative assistant, and decided to mention that I am a native of their district! She and I later connected via email and planned to do a “coffee”.
For every single encounter that I have had, whether it was with another intern, staff member, different office, or general public, I have always had something to gain and grow from. I hope this “coffee” can blossom into a life-changing chance; a gateway to go back home and help improve the daily lives of youth and families that I relate to.
I had the honor of having dinner with Mayor Annise Parker through the LGBTQ+ Victory Institute and I was fortunate enough to also have lunch with my Congressman with the other interns in our office. I learned so much about not only how to be immersed into the world of politics in society but also how the journey to this path varies. I am realizing that the realm of politics helps me exercise overlapping and intertwined skills and knowledge from a variety of past experiences. This ultimately helps me achieve the goal of being able to positively contribute to bringing about positive changes to society.
With a multitude of opportunities to self-reflect, I am beyond mind-blown and yet so humble, grateful, down-to-earth, and appreciative for everything, everywhere, everyone, all at once.