Here I am on the eve of my last day of interning with Equality NC and I am feeling a mixture of sorrow and satisfaction as a write this. Sorrow because my internship will officially end in less than 24 hours and satisfaction from what I have learned working within communities across our state, thinking about the wonderful people I have worked with and met, and being able to say I was a part of Equality NC.
We traveled across the state to conduct town hall meetings, round table discussions, and workshops about the School Violence Prevention Act. I was part of two incredible Lobby Days for Equality NC and North Carolina AIDS Action Network (NCAAN).
On April 28, NCAAN held their HIV Lobby Day and people from around the state traveled to Raleigh to talk to their legislators about the Healthy Youth Act and the importance of maintaining funding for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program as well as HIV prevention programs.
We went to the House Committee on Education meeting where the Healthy Youth Act was debated by the bill supporters and the opposition. This was my first time to sit in on a committee meeting and I would imagine it was the first time for many of the others who were there for Lobby Day.
I witnessed Rep. Rick Glazier in action and it took every bit of willpower I had not to track him down and ask for an autograph following the meeting. Rep. Glazier is phenomenal. He is the voice of reason for social justice in our state. I also met new friends at the HIV Lobby Day, and it is so inspiring to be in the company of others who hold the same beliefs and seek the same dreams.
I never would have imagined that I would have accomplished all that I have since January. This could not have been done without Rebecca’s guidance and support. I am very proud to say that I have worked with Ian, Kay, and Shawn who are all so dedicated to what they do at Equality NC. And last but not least Seth, Stephen, and Wes, you are all stellar interns and greatness will follow you no matter where you go! I will miss all of you and cannot thank you enough for allowing me to be a part of Equality NC.