Ohio 4-H Health Heroes had an unexpected surprise on their way back from Washington, D.C.. While in the airport waiting area before the flight, group chaperones noticed they were standing near U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty. She graciously agreed to pose for photos and talked briefly with our members. One teen described the encounter with Beatty as “the coolest thing EVER!” Beatty represents Ohio’s Third Congressional District, where several of the teens live. Even in this brief encounter, the teens were able to share their passions about important health-related issues and thank Representative Beatty for her advocacy on behalf of Ohioans.
Earlier in their visit, the group had visited Beatty’s office in the Rayburn Building on Capitol Hill, where they met with her Senior Legislative Assistant, Chonya Davis Johnson. Davis Johnson shared what her role as a legislative assistant entails and her insights about the inner workings of Capitol Hill. She emphasized the importance of building positive relationships, which is good advice in Washington as well as in any future career. As they shared their thoughts afterward, the teens noted how both Davis Johnson’s and Beatty’s words have inspired them.
The unexpected encounter with Representative Beatty in the airport was a memorable end to an already awesome experience. The Health Heroes were in Washington to attend the National 4-H Summit on Healthy Living, along with 300 youth and adults from 27 states. They presented two sessions on the topic of teen vaping and use of e-cigarettes and assisted with sessions on responses to the opioid crisis and mental health. They also attended many informative educational sessions about physical, mental, social, and emotional aspects of health.
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