By: Amogh Baranwal – June 2019
It was 5:28 am and Alex, Joshua, Colin, Sydney, and I were sitting at the airport. We just had gotten a small breakfast and we were all taking. I asked them a question. “What do you guys expect from this trip?”
Sydney: “ I am worrying about every tiny detail one could think of, From what to wear and what to expect and how I am going to talk, to how many people will be there and if I will present myself properly. All of these factors are running through my head and worries me, I have no idea what I am about to walk into. I do not know what to expect so I will expect nothing, absolutely nothing. Of course I expect to come out of this feeling differently and hopefully feeling powerful”
Colin: “I expect to advocate for hunger”
Grace: “I am really nervous about having to talk to people” (I asked Grace this question later as she took a different flight and was already in DC.)
Alex: ”I wasn’t sure what to expect, I knew we were going to advocate for world hunger, but I wasn’t sure to what capacity we would do so.”
Personally I was nervous too. This was my first trip with Joshua and the foundation. In my head I kept on thinking about what I need to prepare and I was mentally preparing talking to lots of people. We arrived at Washington DC and then we met up with Gail and Grace. Gail got us tickets to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. It was a very powerful and impactful museum that was not only breathtaking but eye opening. After that we went to Georgetown. Georgetown is a charming and beautiful area with Federal-style architecture, cobblestone streets and fashion and design shops. In Georgetown we all found scooters and were riding them. They were very fun but also scary! We scootered our way to the famous Georgetown Cupcakes and Gail told us which ones were the best and we tried a whole bunch. I got a vanilla cupcake with milk chocolate frosting and sprinkles! Later we went to the Georgetown Escape room Live. It was an awesome experience and it was a great teamwork building exercise. Collin did most of the work but we managed to get out with 9 minutes and 32 seconds remaining! After we went to an Italian restaurant. We socialized and bonded. We went to the hotel and all I could think about was the next day. We all woke up and got ready. In the morning we went to Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program (MBSYEP). We talked to the staff and the young leaders about Joshua’s Heart Foundation and our projects. It made me feel so powerful and happy that we could talk to all these adults about what we do. Everyone was very kind, always staying involved and asking questions. It was a different experience for me that I very much enjoyed. After we grabbed a small snack we made our way to the St. Mark’s Episcopal Church I was thinking about the Bill that we want to put in action about Global Nutrition. We signed in and got our Name Badges. After we met the other people that came from Florida to Bread for the World. We all introduced ourselves and how we met Florence. Florence is the Bread 4 the World representative who works with Florida. With Joshua’s Heart Foundation she had us do a simulation in one of our first meetings. I also went to Sen. Marco Rubio’s South Florida office with her to advocate for the House Resolution 189. Anyway after everyone introduced themselves we all left and had a break before dinner. We grabbed a quick bite to eat at “We the Pizza” and then we scootered to the capitol. We took some pictures and scootered around some more. So far I was just thinking about the trip and what we have done so far and It has been so much fun. We have interacted and got to know each other pretty well. We went to the Bread for the World dinner and we all got assigned random tables but luckily Gail and Grace had two empty chairs at their table so Sydnie and I took those seats. At the dinner table I started explaining what JHF and JAB was to this family and how I got involved with Bread for the World. They were so shocked that us kids were doing something this much and it made me happy of all the work our foundation has done for others. After that we went back to our hotel and we all stayed up till 3 am talking. This trip really made us bond and socialize! Next Morning we all woke up bright and early and made our way to the St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and found our other Floridian members. We all got assigned our Rep. In my group it was just Alex and I. We learned more about the H. Resolution 189 about global nutrition. We prepared what we were going to say to Mr. Alcee Hastings. At that moment everything was getting so real all of the work of the past month was coming to life. First we had a meeting with Sen. Rick Scott and his Reps. We explained what the Bill was about. Some people told very heart warming stories that were very eye opening. Nearly half of all children deaths are because of malnutrition. After we met with Mr. Hastings. Alex and I explained about the bill. We also did this with several other politicians. When the day ended, I could not believe it was over. After resting for a few moments we went and saw some memorials and went to go see the white house and got ice cream. On the last day we woke up got packed and headed to the airport to go back home after we all got some brunch I asked them another question.
“How did this trip impact you?”
Sydney: “I came out of this feeling differently and hopefully feeling powerful and I did! Yet in perspective for what I expected the trip to be like it was extraordinary, getting the opportunity to talk to such powerful people in our community was so amazing and eye opening to the fact that we do have an impact! After going on this trip I realized every action has some kind of reaction even on the smallest scale, whether you start out small or take a big leap and fly all the way to Washington D.C
You will never know unless you try.”
Grace: “I felt like had jumped over a hurdle and now I’m almost positive I can talk to anyone. And it was just a really fun experience interacting with people” (I asked Grace this question before because Grace left a day before us)
Colin: “I advocated for hunger but at the end I did that and made new friends it was a good trip”
Alex: “The trip showed me that many people do care about the movement and it feels good to be apart of something bigger than you”
All in all this was an amazing experience that taught all of us so much. We did something that most United States citizens don’t get the opportunity to do which is lobbying. I would also like to thank Claudia, Gail, and Florence for helping us out during the whole trip and taking care of us. We are all so grateful. This trip not only brought us together but also taught us many new things!