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Melissa Graham

Milwaukee, WI

Melissa Graham - Entry 2

June 30, 2009

What has been the most challenging moment during your first three weeks of the internship?

It was very hard for me to adjust to life here without seeing my friends and family every day. While I may be a little homesick, I find that their huge amount of faith in me also gives me the strength to accomplish anything.

What has been the coolest moment during the first three weeks of your internship?

Getting to know my congresswoman has been amazing -- we actually ate chili-dogs together at the Congressional baseball game! She is such a sweet person who works very hard and I'm pretty proud to be in her office.

What experience has most inspired you thus far and why?

I'm most inspired by the various Latino organizations that we've met.  It's great to see Latinos who not only become successful, but also remember to give back to the community. I am very thankful for the opportunities they've given me and I would love to follow in their footsteps.

If you had to make up a slogan, ten words or less, that represents your internship experience thus far, what would it be?

Build your country. Build your community. Build yourself.

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Melissa Graham - Entry 1

June 19, 2009

Please describe your first week in Washington, D.C.

I was whisked away to a city where people literally save the world and where I can be a part of that. I've made so many connections and friends who share my principles and contacts who genuinely care about my future.

We are the movers and shakers. We can move ahead through education, we can better our hometowns with perseverance, and we can revolutionize America by civic activism.

Sure enough, I'm bringing these tools home with me. I'm rising above my own expectations, organizing communities, and seeing life-changing legislation. I've been taught how to truly listen to advocates, catalyze communities, make lasting impressions, and navigate subways (without getting hopelessly lost).

I'm half expecting to hop into a phone-booth and don a cape tomorrow.

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