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Oct 26, 2012
By: Alexus Tullock
When Ariel and Leighann informed me on the Urban Retreat they attended last year, I thought they were going a little overboard on the fun they said they had. They said I would meet cool people, get to lobby on Capital Hill, and eat lots and lots of snacks. Well, I honestly had the time of my life in DC.
First, meeting my SWARM council in August, I knew they were the bomb but this trip made us feel like a family.
Then, arriving in DC and meeting awesome people from all over the world was amazing. I had the pleasure of having a roommate from Africa. I never knew how lucky I was until I had the chance to listen to her story. Sexual health education doesn’t exist in Nigeria and many health clinics aren’t willing to help families in need. Most families can’t afford to go to a doctor when they are sick. My heart went out to her and her county. I took a small thing like going to the doctor for granted.
Every morning at 7:00 a.m. (that’s right 7 in the morning!) the California group introduced Forward Stance to the Urban Retreat. Being the great group SWARM is, we were the only ones to show up. Honestly, Forward Stance made a lot of sense. We should always focus on our opponent with a forward stance and we will win every time.
At the closing dinner before Lobby Day, we had the chance to give shout outs to whoever we wanted. Nadia gave a shout out to Emma and Cherisse. Boy did her story have me tearing up. It made me realize how much Tim was missed and how much SWARM was loved.
Lobbing on Capital Hill was so much FUN!! I felt so important. We were like little league politicians walking around DC. Emma was like our Secret Service Agent taking us under tunnels and on private tours! It reminded me a lot of the movie Salt. Having the chance to talk to our state’s Legislatures and bring issues affecting our youth was truly a “wow” moment. How many college students have the opportunity to do that? Not many but my SWARM Council did. I’m sure we made Tim proud!!Categories: Abstinence-Only Programs, Contraceptive Access, Living Positive, Peer Education, Reproductive Justice, Sex Education, Sexual Health, Social Justice and Human Rights, Young People