On September 14-17, 2013, Jack and Jill members and teens from 232 chapters in 35 states came to our nation’s capital for two legislative advocacy days. Sophomore Yemi Akinwusi is an active member in his Local Jack and Jill Chapter and was selected to represent Oakland County. He said, “My experiences with Brother Rice and Jack and Jill have empowered me to rise as a leader instead of standing idly by while important decisions that affect me are being made.”
This visit emphasized an educational experience fostering leadership, service and civic duty by supporting a career view for students who may be interested in the political arena through informative programs, observations, scholarship opportunities, interviews and meeting with congressional leaders. The On the Hill Summit examined social, political and economical changes that took place during important chapters in history and continue today. The congressional internship program, introduction to the legislative process presentations, Capitol Hill and new Visitors Center tour, tour of the tunnels, observation of Senate sessions, hearing and committee meetings, meetings with their congressional leaders, among other events, provided these students with a thought-provoking overview of history in the making. At the Capitol, many of the students interacted with legislators and staffers and sat in the same seats that were occupied by historical figures over 200 years ago, where the process of defining our country’s values and beliefs started.
While others make decisions that have a tremendous impact on our members and all children and families across America. Legislative Advocacy is stated in the third aim and objective of the Constitution and Bylaws of the organization and is intended to be a primary activity of all Jack and Jill chapters. The third aim and objective states: “… to support all national legislation aimed at bettering the conditions of all children.”