As a Congressional Aide, Girl Scout Sahana R. spent a week shadowing the office of Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth. Sahana writes about her experience below.
Over the past week, I had the opportunity to shadow the office of Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth. It was definitely one of the best experiences I have had all summer. Although Congress was in recess, I learned so much from being around the staff members who were so knowledgeable about a variety of topics. I am so grateful because the staff at the Congresswoman’s office was extremely kind and expanded my exposure of American politics by taking me to the Capitol and the Library of Congress.
At the Capitol, I was able to sit down in the House of Representatives room, where the State of the Union speech is made every year. It was breathtaking to imagine all the history that had taken place in that one room. The simple things, such as the “yay” and “nay” voting buttons on the desks, seemed so exciting. At the Library of Congress, I saw Thomas Jefferson’s original collection of books in his library. It was intriguing to scan the titles of the many books in his collection, all in different languages. I especially loved the quote that was engraved at the entrance of his collection, “I cannot live without books.” Visiting these monumental structures at the heart of our nation was incredible and gave me a very different perspective of the struggles our forefathers went through to achieve the freedom we enjoy today.
At the office, I was given a variety of tasks such as organizing letters, responding to constituents, entering data, fixing phone extensions, and arranging press clips for the day. While organizing the letters sent between the Congresswoman and other officials in the government, I learned about the pressing issues of today and the different policies proposed to fix them. I gained a greater sense of appreciation for the members of Congress in our country after seeing their demanding schedules. The Congresswoman was constantly running on her feet while Congress was in session, and barely had a break during her day. Finally, I understood the integral role of the staff in the office. Every single staff member had a significant responsibility in keeping the office running smoothly. Their teamwork was integral to the success of Congresswoman Duckworth.
I am very thankful for the opportunity to have shadowed at the Congresswoman’s office. It has furthered my interest in politics and government and inspired me to participate in activities related to these fields. Thank you Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital!