At the 2017 SchoolHouse Connection DC Summit, SchoolHouse Connection’s Young Leaders shared their wisdom, insights, and experiences with congressional and U.S. Department of Education policymakers in Washington DC. Eleven students and four peer leaders travelled to the nation’s capital from across the country. All of the young people have experienced, or are experiencing, homelessness, yet have graduated from high school and are either in college, or recently completed college.
SHC’s Young Leaders took part in a Congressional briefing sponsored by SchoolHouse Connection, Civic Enterprises, America’s Promise Alliance, and the Institute for Children, Poverty, & Homelessness, in coordination with U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). We are very grateful to America’s Promise Alliance for livestreaming the event so that people all over the country can learn from these courageous young people.
The SHC Young Leaders also visited the U.S. Department of Education, where they met with Acting Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education, Jason Botel, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education, Dr. Monique Chism.
There was plenty of time for fun, too – monuments, museums, and beating the sweltering DC heat!
Morgan, who will enter her junior year in college, wrote “When homelessness began for me, I never felt comfortable talking to people about it because I did not want them to feel sorry for me, or judge me. I met so many young people like me, with SchoolHouse Connection’s young leaders in DC, and I knew I was in a safe place where I could talk about it and not be judged.”
Tia, a SHC peer leader who will start dental school in the fall, said “Having the opportunity to serve as a peer leader, although heart-heavy, was therapeutic, empowering and good for the soul… One of the best things about bringing these students together is their ability to recognize the resilience, strength, and value of their peers. Once they are able to appreciate how deserving their peers are of support and applause, it becomes easier for each student to turn that mirror right back on themselves and say to themselves ‘I too am worthy.’”
Watch for details about the 2018 DC Summit! For more information, please contact Amy Bradley, Director of Youth Leadership and Scholarships, at firstname.lastname@example.org.