RESULTS Fellows take their passion and preparation to Capitol Hill

May 19, 2023
by Deborah Lash

Over bagels and coffee, equipped with pens, notepads, and lots of red folders, several dozen young leaders gathered in Washington, DC in early May for the RESULTS Fellowship Policy Summit. They hailed from all over the country.  

Some had come because of their personal experiences with poverty in the U.S. Some were there because they or their families had been refugees, fleeing their home countries in search of safety and opportunity. No matter their “why” or reason for being an advocate, all of them had in common a sense of urgency about the critical issues facing the world, a fiery passion for equity, and an excitement about heading to Capitol Hill to share their vision.  

After many hours of sessions preparing them for one final day of advocacy meetings, they heard from RESULTS Executive Director Joanne Carter on what their presence meant to the organization’s work to end poverty.  

“It’s not just a ‘nice-to-have’ to have you here. It’s a really important time to move this work forward. You may be the first person to tell your member of Congress that these issues matter. It’s also the info and intel you bring back to shape our strategy.” 

We caught up with some of the Fellows during the Summit both before and after their meetings with members of Congress and their staff. 

Fellows Shaquana Boykin and Aishu Narasimhadevara
Shaquana Boykin (left) and Aishu Narasimhadevara (right)
Aishu Narasimhadevara 
New York, NY 

“It’s been wonderful meeting other fellows here in Washington. I’m just amazed at the wealth of knowledge that RESULTS provides. A lot of the knowledge that you gain can be used in your other endeavors, like in advocacy or even in the professional or academic space.  

What inspires me about advocacy is seeing the impact on people benefiting from the policies we are pushing for.” 

Fellow Marlen Millan-Osuna
Marlen Millan-Osuna
Marlen Millan-Osuna 
Los Angeles, CA 

“We’ve been preparing for these meetings all year, and now I feel like I have what I need to hit the ground running and actually do more actively with my advocacy. 

I love learning and being civically engaged, and I’m very excited to go out there and speak to [congressional staff] about global and domestic poverty issues. I feel very prepared.  

If you’re considering joining the RESULTS Fellowship, what is your why? What impact do you want to make in your community? Think hard about that and then take the opportunity to join the fellowship.” 

Fellows Malika Nurbekova and Aaminah Parker in a Hill meeting
Malika Nurbekova (left) and Aaminah Parker (right)
Malika Nurbekova 
San Francisco, CA 

“I was active with advocacy in my home country, so I wanted to bring that back into my life here in the U.S. You can influence policies here and your voice can be heard, so why not get involved? 

I’m really proud of being able to go to meetings with members of Congress. It’s more than just me – we’re here for a bigger purpose. I’m very honored that I can do this. It’s amazing that we have access and that the government is made for us. We have a voice.  

Being in person with other Fellows feels great. We’re working on the same thing, towards the same goal. It’s almost like a wall of support behind you!” 

Robert Crowe, Pritika Vemulapalli, congressional staffer, Jean-Philippe Charles, Karyne Bury
(left to right) Robert Crowe, Pritika Vemulapalli, congressional staffer, Jean-Philippe Charles, and Karyne Bury 
Robert Crowe 
Memphis, TN 

“On Advocacy Day, we attended the Tennessee Tuesday breakfast on Capitol Hill. We got to meet the staff of my member of Congress. They were very supportive and very nice. I felt really nervous beforehand, but it went really well. 

The fellowship has been great for mentorship and giving support for my advocacy. My group is so supportive and helpful and has assisted me in getting several meetings, which I’ve really appreciated!” 

Fellows Ruhani Sansoya, Jonathan George, and Candace Baker
(left to right) Ruhani Sansoya, Jonathan George, and Candace Baker
Ruhani Sansoya 
Indianapolis, IN 

“I had a lot of meetings on Capitol Hill today! The first meeting went well – my senator came in and we thanked him for his support of the End TB Now Act. We also talked about the READ Act and the Child Tax Credit. He wanted to hear about our backgrounds and passions. It felt like a real conversation.”  

RESULTS Fellows held over 35 meetings with congressional offices, spotlighting critical issues like housing, child poverty, and global health and education. They spent many hours preparing and saw their hard work pay off. As Aishu from New York said, “Be persistent! The important thing is to keep going, and always remember your why, and eventually you will see the result of your hard work.” 

Interested in learning more about the RESULTS Organizing and Advocacy Fellowship? Click here. 

See photos of the event here. 

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