For my CSLP I decided to volunteer at Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan DC. It has been a very rewarding experience. I have learned a lot from both the people I reach out to and my mentor, Michelle Woods. I spend the majority of my time in the Planned Parenthood office on 16th street. Michelle works in legislative advocacy. I have done everything from captain phone banks to organize rallies in front of the Supreme Court. I also helped sign people up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace. During the famous King v. Burwell case, I organized an American University presence in front of the Supreme Court. Some of my friends were interviewed by CNN reporters. Additionally, there are pictures of both myself and other American University students making our voices heard in many news articles such as The Washington Post, CNN, and USA Today. I learned a lot about what it takes to set up a successful rally including strategies to get out the word. I did a lot of phone banking while volunteering at Planned Parenthood. I have captained over three separate phone banks. I enjoy captaining because I get to help others reach out to various groups of people while reaching out myself.
One of the moments I am most proud of is a community building event in Manassas, Virginia. The city council of Manassas is attempting to rezone the city to force out the town’s only women’s health clinic. I captained a phone bank seeking concerned citizens to organize for a meeting about what we can do to make sure the Manassas women’s health clinic stays open. After phone banking and gathering people for the community meeting, I was actually able to go out to Manassas, Virginia to meet with the people and lay the groundwork for a successful protest at the next city council meeting. It was really rewarding to see how we went from phone banking to meeting to protesting. It was a great sight to see a grass roots effort on part of the community of Manassas. Additionally, I had never been in Virginia before let alone a community like Manassas.
I intent to keep in contact with my boss, Michelle, after I finish my CSLP efforts. While I do not wish to pursue an internship with her office, I definitely will help out with any events in the future.