I had always thought of DC as my unachievable dream. It was hard for me to be convinced that someone like me would be able to effectively make change on Capitol Hill. I had imagined that the ones who were able to do that had a secret source or even a code that would allow them to enter this coveted society. PLEN had showed me I was so wrong. After an amazing six days at Women in Public Policy I had realized that DC and my dreams were achievable.
I was completely amazed by all of our speakers. Not only were they the top professionals in each of their very diverse fields, but they were also all women. Each had advice and tips that I do not think I could have received anywhere else. I was taught and shown so many different things; I am surprised my notebook still had some blank pages.
After PLEN I know for sure I am going to pursue being an advocate for change in mental health care through public policy. PLEN taught me how to build a strong network, be an advocate for myself and others, and most importantly how to be confident in what I do. With each speaker and lesson, the more I realized that I had a stronger support system than I had ever known. I am so glad I had the opportunity that I had with PLEN, because my future would have never become this clear.
PLEN was definitely by far one of the best things I could have done as an undergrad. Not only do I have a fuller understanding of Washington, D.C. and how public policy works, I made memories that I will carry for lifetime. I highly suggest this program to anyone who is thinking about working with policy. I personally cannot wait to be an alumnae that PLEN will be proud of.
Lauren Ewing attended the 2016 Women in Public Policy seminar as a sophomore at Carlow University.