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Soaking in information to make an impact

January 20, 2023 by Baydaa Alshatee

Being a legislative intern has been a fun ride so far! Currently, I am soaking in information from all over the State Board — there are tons of fascinating topics to learn. Meeting new people and seeing how the community and technical college system runs has been a learning experience. I am a product of community college, and I understand the importance of supporting and lobbying for these colleges. They are so diverse and support so many students, which is why advocating for them is important work for me.

This week was my first opportunity to testify before a legislative committee. I work remotely, and I have never attended a committee hearing before. I was ready to testify in support of House Bill 5125 that would create the Washington Future Fund. If passed, the fund could be an equity lever for prospective community and technical college students. Funds from this program could be applied to a student's expenses and would not negatively impact their ability to receive public benefits or be considered an asset regarding their financial aid eligibility. For recipients, this could be beneficial to meet their financial needs and help them out of persistent poverty.

Ultimately, the Washington Future Fund would help close the equity gap in Washington state, break the cycle of poverty, help the ongoing need for tuition assistance, and make the college experience more accessible for those born in persistent poverty. While the committee ran out of time before I could testify live, I submitted written testimony in support of the bill. Getting to advocate on such an important issue that I am passionate about has been something that lit my interest. This could be a direction where I point towards my career.

At the end of my time here at the State Board, I hope to learn more about the legislative system, soak in all the new information, and make an impact on our system. I am interested in learning more about bills to do with mental health, diversity and equity, and financial aid.

I’m looking forward to writing another post soon!

Last Modified: 1/20/23, 4:09 PM
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