This week the US Congress Handbook was one of the sponsors of the Hoops for Youth Kids Hill Day, and I was lucky enough to be a team mentor for the day. Along with my partner mentor, James Bowman from Congressional FCU, I was in charge of a group of 8th grade boys from the Washington Jesuit Academy.
This field trip was part of the Hoops for Youth program which has raised over $600,000 for local children’s organizations in the past 11 years. Each year the foundation hosts a kids’ Capitol Hill day, basketball clinic and basketball game between members of Congress and local lobbyists.
At first I was a little worried (who wouldn’t be, when thinking about chaperoning a bunch of teenage boys) but it turned out to be one of the highlights of my year. The entire event, organized by Kate Leonard of the Leonard group, was so fantastic and inspirational.
The first half of the day featured motivational speakers including several US Marshalls, a former Justice Department attorney and a former convict who now works for Cease Fire, an organization that attempts to minimize gang violence in Washington DC.
After the speakers, the kids spent some time learning about the First Amendment, and we helped them to prepare a “mock proposal” to present during the Hill appointments. This year they had to convince Members to support them in their efforts to maintain federal funding for their local community recreational center. Since many of these kids are active participants at their actual rec centers, they had lots of great ideas and did such an excellent job presenting their ideas. All-in-all it was an amazing fun-filled day and I highly recommend volunteering for this event next year.
If you are interested in getting involved in the Kids Hill Day next year or donating to the Hoops for Youth Foundation please visit their website here: www.hoopsforyouthfoundation.org.
Click here for more information on the US Congress Handbook.