Posted: 26 Feb 2014 06:25 PM PST
Ivy Ryan, a junior at our school had the amazing opportunity to go to Washington D.C where she met several different political figures and gave a presentation on the issue of school lunches and how they need to be improved.
This all started this summer when Ivy, with about ten other students who participated in the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild art programs, were chosen to go on a trip to Yellow Stone with an organization called Park Journeys. “During the trip we talked about having a voice because as teenagers we’re usually disregarded in the world,” says Ivy. At the end of her trip they each chose an issue that they felt was prominent in their community and presented it to the group. Ivy chose the issue of school lunches saying, “Providing students with healthier meal choices will result in them being physically and mentally healthier.”
After the presentations, the trip leaders, Joanna and Michelle, chose three students to present their issue in front of representatives so that actions could be taken to resolve them. Ivy was one of the three chosen. “During the next few months we met up with Michelle multiple times to talk about our issue, gather evidence, and create a proposal,” Ivy says. Due to the weather we had however the trip was delayed and when rescheduled the other two girls were not able to attend.
Ivy and her trip leaders Joanna and Michelle headed up to D.C. on February 12th. The day started off with breakfast with Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz’s Chief of Staff and those invested in her campaign. The chief of staff talked about her campaign and the prominent issues she was planning on tackling. “It was fascinating hearing about what she wanted to get done as governor and how she was going to try and get support from her constituents,” Ivy said. Later that day Ivy had meetings with Senator Casey’s staffer, Senator Toomey’s Staffer, and Congressman Doyle’s Staffer. In the meetings Michelle introduced Ivy, Parks Journeys, and the project; then Ivy would explain the issue of school lunches and make an appeal to them on how they needed to be changed at the federal level.
“Every staffer was extremely polite to me, they understood where I was coming from and agreed that it was an important issue to fix, and that it affected education and America as a whole. It was amazing to be a part of the actual government for a day and to see how everything works. These people had to take time out of their extremely busy day to talk to me, and it makes you realize that they really do care about your opinions.”
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