I had the pleasure of working in the office of Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska for one week. Although my week was during recess and I did not see the Senate in session, I was able to take part in unique experiences that I otherwise would not have had. Senator Murkowski serves as the Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to meet with members of the committee staff, including the Special Counsel and the Staff Director, and to learn more about working for a committee. I was even able to sit in on a meeting. The personal staff for Senator Murkowski also made sure that I had a full schedule each day, which included tours of the Capitol, and the opportunity to draft letters to constituents and even use the autopen.
Senator Murkowski and the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Chairman, Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, are fully committed to working together and emphasize bipartisanship. Because of this, I was introduced to and able to meet with the Senior Counsel to the Chairman. (Shout out to Girl Scouts: His daughter participated in the Girl Scout Congressional Aide program a few years ago!) With all the news coverage around the partisan nature of Capitol Hill these days, it was inspiring to see the level of bipartisanship on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which is one of the driving factors behind the high rate of legislation proposed by the committee.
The most challenging, but also very rewarding, part of my time as a Girl Scout Congressional Aide was writing response letters to constituents. I needed to familiarize myself with issues about which I had limited information. In the process of doing this, not only did I learn more about the concerns of constituents in Alaska, but I also learned that if you do not know where to turn for help, your Senator is always there to aid you in any way that he or she can. This experience has been amazing and I am very grateful to have been given the chance to be a part of such a welcoming staff. I would urge any Girl Scout who is a member of GSCNC to take advantage of this unique opportunity we have and apply!