COABE Capitol Hill Day 2017
I had the great pleasure and honor to attend the Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE) Capitol Hill Day on September 26th, 2017. As COABE’s Student Engagement Chair, I was most excited about offering some training for student leaders and being present for the first ever student run meeting with Robin Juliano, from the House Committee on Appropriations. Robin was extremely impressed by the students!
Maria Alvidrez, from the wonderful Queen Creek Adult Education Program represented AZ and attended all of my visits. We met with staff in Rep. Gallego, Rep. Grijalva and Senator Flake’s office and met with Rep. O’Halleran.
The student Ambassadors did a phenomenal job running the meeting, telling their stories in a succinct and powerful way, asking great questions, answering Ms. Juliano’s questions and building a relationship with her.
Thanks to creator mamas Ami Magisos and Jennifer Stanowski, ring leaders Laura Porfirio and Mireya Escamillo who took Ambassadors from an internal training to an AALL sponsored statewide training and Kathy Budway who continued to nurture and improve the Ambassador Program…. It’s going NATIONAL.
COABE received funding from Dollar General and Aztec to fund Capitol Hill Day and to fund more adult learners and program teams getting trained on how to do their own Ambassador Programs. A Train the Trainer session will be offered at COABE 2018 in Phoenix.
Next year, I hope to have triple the number of Ambassadors hitting the hill with their state association representatives. At this year’s debrief, EVERY single person (50+) said that the student stories were the most powerful part of the visit. Not just for the policy makers, but also for the staff. Even those educators who had been in the field for decades learned something new. Students, staff and policymakers were all transformed!
COABE’s Educate and Elevate campaign has already impacted the field. Over 30,000+ contacts were made just prior to our Hill visits, so many staff and members already knew a little about adult education.
As I’ve said a hundred times, or so….
The best advocates are our students and successful advocacy includes three very important parts:
Data + Stories + Relationships
We were lucky to have utilized each part successfully on our Capitol Hill Day 2017.
I have also included some of COABE’s fact sheets below:
- Adult Basic Education Fact Sheet
- About COABE Fact Sheet
- WIOA Fact Sheet
- Issues Paper
- Education & Elevate One Pager
- Educate & Elevate ROI Fact Sheet