Being in D.C. for the past 2 months has allowed me to learn so much. What I have learned the most about are people. D.C. is a town with very few “locals” and that is what I love about it. The people here all have a story to tell, one that is unique from anyone else’s. The stories I have loved learning about more than any others have been the women’s stories we have heard through the fellowship and seminars.
Each one of them unique, and yet many of their traits the same: strong, independent, determined, passionate, and intelligent. Many of the times I find myself taking notes on these women, not on what they are saying, but about their characteristics and personality. The one thing I have found most impactful is that each one of these women is so inspiring. Although many of the women we have heard from in our seminars have not been elected officials, they are definitely breaking glass ceilings and blazing paths for women in their own respects, as well.
What I have come to realize, too, is how amazing and inspirational the stories of the other fellows are. I have genuinely loved learning and getting to know each and every one of them. It is interesting that although they may all identify with the same party that they still hold different views on some issues. They definitely have very different experiences that have shaped their political beliefs. It these experiences that they have shared with me that are helped to continue to shape my political beliefs. These women are so smart and I have been able to learn so much from each of them.
The one bit of advice I keep hearing is to take a risk, something women, myself included, often have trouble with. Through the risks they many of these women have taken, they have been able to find much success. I feel like my next step will definitely be a risk, whether it means taking a job on a campaign or in an office I would have never imagined myself in. I am excited for what is to come and what I have learned thus far as a Star Fellow and from the many women I have met.
-Whitney H., Star Fellow Fall 2009