As I have mentioned before, during my second semester at GMU I interned at EMILY’s List. This was an amazing experience and gave me so many wonderful opportunities to learn new things and enhance my knowledge in US politics. However, this is not a post about my time at EMILY’s List (I know I keep promising it but seriously keep your eyes peeled, it is on the way!) This is a post about one of the incredible opportunities my internship gave me. I got the chance to volunteer at a Clinton Foundation event and see President Bill Clinton and his daughter Chelsea Clinton speak!! This is something I never imagined I would do, EVER, let alone manage to do it whilst studying abroad. But then again, this past year has been a year that has given me so many incredible experiences, I don’t know why I thought doing something like this would be impossible.
The event was held at ‘The Hamilton’ which is a hotel/restaurant/bar/live music venue in DC and is pretty expensive! I arrived at 4pm, having to head straight into DC after back to back classes at Mason. When I got there I met the person in charge who divided all the volunteers into groups and gave us a brief of how the evening would go. I was put on the VIP door, where I checked in guests who had paid enough for the event that they would get to meet President Clinton before the talk. This was pretty exciting, although it meant I had to stand outside in the rain for a large portion of the evening. Whilst standing outside checking in people on the ipad, one of the guests sauntered straight past me through the door. To my amazement it was Gerard Butler! YES GERARD BUTLER! STOOD LESS THAN A METRE FROM ME!!!!!!!! I really was excited! But everyone who knows me should know that my excitement at standing so close to Gerard Butler was absolutely nothing compared to seeing President Clinton! Just before the event started, the person who was in charge of the volunteers let me go inside so I could watch the whole event. This was actually really nice of him, I guess talking about my year abroad to him helped me cause and meant I got to go in sooner!
Once I was inside the venue the pressure was off as a volunteer and I could just enjoy the evening. Which firstly meant hitting the free bar and grabbing a glass of wine! Then squeezing through the groups of people to get a good spot so I could watch the action! It was a basic Q&A event where people in the audience could tweet questions and then Chelsea Clinton and President Clinton would answer them. This meant that a whole range of issues were discussed. It was a really interesting event and I feel so privileged to have been able to attend.
After the talk, Carly Rae Jepsen performed. I literally didn’t know she had any songs other than Call Me Maybe and it pains me to say this but she was relatively decent live! Not that I actually paid much attention as I helped one of the other volunteers out on the photo booth as all the young (drunk) professionals were lining up to have their photographs taken. This was actually really cool as you got to take 4 photographs and they printed in a strip there and then for you to take away. I thought it was a great idea and everyone there loved it! Unfortunately I had to leave, I really didn’t want to! It was such an amazing night and a once in a lifetime experience. I am so grateful to Kate at EMILY’s List for letting me know about the event and to Zac from the Clinton Foundation for letting me help out and giving me the opportunity to hear the talk!