Last year I was chosen to be one of the six Corpsmembers of the Year, which is a pretty big deal. It meant that I was picked out of 29,000 Corpsmembers.
One of the perks of being chosen for Corpsmember of Year was being able to attend the Corps Forum in Washington D.C. For the weeks leading up to the Forum, I was extremely excited and busy. I was busy preparing to travel to Washington D.C. and was preparing a speech to give at the Forum.
Unfortunately, the weekend I was scheduled to fly out to the East coast, a blizzard struck there. The blizzard was so intense that my flight was pushed back two days. This meant that I had to miss two days of the Forum. It was a real disappointment for me because I really wanted to be a part of the whole experience.
When I arrived at the hotel, my disappointment and sadness quickly resolved as I realized I was going to be staying at a elegant four star hotel. Entering the hotel with its extraordinary main floor, I knew this was not your typical hotel. Then I made my way to my room after a few “yes sirs” and “here you are Mr. Brown.” My room was absolutely breathtaking. It was bigger than my apartment, all the furnishings were top notch and the bed created the best night’s sleep a person can desire.
After touring and examining the hotel and all the luxurious features, I was quick to go to sleep because I didn’t arrive at the hotel until12:00a.m. and had to be up in the morning by 6.00 a.m. That morning I was up on time and prepared for a day of all the Forum events. The first thing on the agenda was a breakfast. This is where I was able to meet all the people attending the Corps Forum and get a better understanding of what it was about. Then I attended the award ceremony where I was able to give my speech in front of 80 people and was awarded a plaque for Corpsmember of the Year.
Throughout the day, I did not do much as there was not much do with the whole city being shut down due to snow. All the tourist attractions, government buildings, museums and most fast food and restaurants were closed. The only thing I was able to find open was the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, so I decided to tour that for about an hour. Then it was time for the reception. It was a very elegant event which was held at the Union Station. It consisted of many big officials such as senators, mayors and big corporate representatives, receiving their awards and giving speeches about what they were going to do or what they did for service work.
What was cool about the reception besides all the good things I was hearing and the amazing atmosphere was that I got to meet some really high positioned people such as Mayor of Denver, John W. Hickenlooper.
For the rest of my days in D.C., I did not do much. There was only one event left for the Forum, which was a really quick closing and the city was still shut down due to a second big snow storm. It was quite nice though as I got to relax and spend time with Brigid McRaith, Director of Programs at Mile High Youth Corps.
Overall, this experience was amazing. I got to see how the Corpsnetwork is filled with amazing people who care about service and youth corps, network with people all over the country, and got to meet important people like the mayor of Denver. Most importantly I really enjoyed myself and had a lot of fun.
-Corey Brown, Water Alumni Mentor