Unfortunately, this post is coming months too late, but in March the sophomore block class went to DC to learn more about pre-K education and land use issues. Coming on the trip in a more administrative role, I was able to sit in on some classes but I was not able to see the day to day research that each of these students that made them so effective in their meetings with legislators, think tanks, federal agencies, and interest groups. Once in DC, however, it was so cool to be able to see them apply what they had learned.
One day, one of the teams was shorthanded, and due to transportation difficulties, I found myself heading over to the EPA with a student, on a mission to learn more about form-based codes and the connection between land use and sustainability. While I had some background knowledge, I had not been involved in the meeting prep, and I did not know what to expect. The student I was with, however, was so knowledgeable and prepared that I almost wasn’t even needed. The depth of his questions indicated how hard he (and the rest of the students) had worked to really grasp all sides of their policy issue in order to truly discern how he (and they) felt about that issue and what should be done about it.
I was reminded in DC, similarly to how I was reminded the year before, how this trip changes PPP students, how it brings to the surface deep passions in students and demonstrates the confidence they gain throughout the semester. All the students grew throughout this trip as the teams conducted a total of 32 meetings over the course of two days. Throughout those days, they demonstrated agility and knowledge that was really impressive to watch.
As I helped with my final DC trip, however, I also was reminded of how the DC trip and the hard work that these students put into the trip changes not only the students, but also the faculty, staff, and upperclass as well. PPP really is a community- that is why it is successful. We all learn from each other and support each other, and I am so lucky that I was able to be a part of it.
Thanks to all who made this possible:
- Team FBC: Andrew Fuller, Andy Kaplan, Matt Keyes, Joe Koenig, Emily McLaughlin, Caleb Profitt, Austin Van Dusen
- Team Education: Laurence Baibak, Alex Cipoletti, Bailey Drexler, Mike Jezewak, Brandon Martin, Trevor McCormick, Pamela Meyerhofer, Nick Putz, Josh Sabo, EJ Swisshelm
- Upperclass students: Sean Cahill, Rosalynd Erney, Annie Garnett, Emily Gilbride, Liza Magley, Rahiel Michael, Kelsey Reed, Pat Schlembach
- Faculty/staff/alumni: Dr. Gene Beaupre, Dr. John Fairfield, Dr. Paul Colella, and Dr. Mack Mariani, Bianca Callejas. + David Ben, Jeff Strunk, and the alumni who attended the reception in the Capitol this year.