By Kara Villarreal, 1910 PR assistant director
I was offered the opportunity to represent our department as a member of the National Millennial and Gen Z Community, an organization founded on creating an atmosphere where dialogue is fueled by broadening awareness and understanding, advancing civility, and focusing on solutions with university students around the world.
Within this organization there are various field trips that students go on to visit and converse with organizations and professionals.
In February, I had the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. with this organization.
On this field trip with NMGZ, there were around 30 other students all the way from Connecticut to Guam…and even Canyon, Texas. We spent three days visiting various organizations like Weber Shandwick, Nestlé, and the Smithsonian Museum of National History. In these meetings, we were given presentations from high-level professionals then had an open session for questions and comments.
We also visited the U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Department of State, and the White House! Visiting these agencies was different from the non-governmental organizations we visited; they mainly wanted to hear us.
All of these organizations wanted to hear directly from Gen Z and understand what our concerns are.
Aside from the organizations and government agencies, my favorite part of this trip was how learning takes place through experience, which brings me to the food on this trip! Each night, we would have foods that all of us had never tried before, from authentic Georgian to Filipino food. I would have never tried these new foods and experiences without this trip!
I met so many people that I would have never had the opportunity to meet, and now they have become some of my closest friends. It’s a very interesting moment to have 30 strangers from all different backgrounds and upbringings coming together to make their voices heard and try to make a difference!
I learned that NMGZ was created on the basis of giving students from all universities, no matter what size or location, the opportunity to learn and experience new things that they didn’t think were possible.
I am very grateful for my trip to Washington D.C. It broadened my horizons and gave me confidence that I belong and my voice matters.