Today I had the opportunity to advocate for something that I am so passionate about: hearing aids for children with hearing loss. The day started with nervous excitement towards the idea of verbalizing to congressmen and women our beliefs and ideals. We were split up into “teams” and then we’re sent off to speak to about 15 representatives. My team had a quick pow wow in the hallway and divided up responsibilities on how we were going to give our quick presentation. We knew we would only have a few minutes with the representative or the aid of the representative so we wanted to make them count. The first person we spoke to, a lovely congressional aid, helped us get our jitters out. She seemed very confident that her boss would want to support this bill. She even complimented our presenting skills! With that boost of confidence, we continued our day of lobbying. Fortunately, almost every representative aid was enthusiastic and excited about our bill.
During the late morning, we were given the special treat of getting a personalized tour of both the Senate and the House of Representatives meeting rooms. We were able to sit in their (quite comfy) chairs, and take in the beautiful architecture and art on the walls. The historical significance of both rooms was what fascinated me the most. Monumental and life changing laws were passed in those very rooms. After taking a few pictures, we got back in the trenches to continue to lobby for our bills. Overall, today was an incredible learning experience. Not only did I learn more about pediatric audiology insurance coverage, but I learned more about how our government works. I learned how hard it is to pass a bill, and how important it is to have as much support from people as you can. Most of all, I learned to be confident in my speaking skills and to never stop standing up for what I believe in.