Pictured: Massachusetts Promise Fellow Ludia, with the Congressman.
“Ludia and other national service volunteers across the country remind us every day of the importance of putting others before ourselves in order to make positive change. That’s a lesson worth remembering as the 114th Congress begins.”
– Congressman Seth Moulton
Ludia Modi, an AmeriCorps fellow working at The Food Project on the North Shore, attended the State of the Union address on January 20 as a guest of Congressman Seth Moulton.
Ludia offers this reflection on her experience, both as a service member at The Food Project and as an attendee to President Obama’s final State of the Union address. This reflection is adapted from a Q&A that was posted on theServiceNation blog.
January 16, 2015 is a day that I will never forget. I received a phone call asking me if I would be interested in accompanying Congressman Moulton to Washington D.C. to listen to President Obama address Congress about his vision for the upcoming year. I remember feeling shocked, overwhelmed, and in disbelief and thinking to myself “yeah right…..really…me…wow.” It took a few minutes for this information to sink in but when it did I couldn’t help but smile. I felt and feel fortunate to attend the State of the Union with a congressman who is devoted and passionate about service and giving back to a country that we both love.
Being surrounded by the President, the First Lady, Vice President, and Congress was a phenomenal and surreal experience. I was surrounded by influential people who govern our country! When laws and policies are passed, I rarely take the time to think about the process of getting them passed and how much deliberation and care goes into that decision. But in being in that room, listening to the President speak, and seeing the reactions of Congress, I saw individuals who love and want the best for this country. I was proud to be in that moment and in that space.
My favorite part of President Obama’s speech was when he spoke of education and providing two years of free community college to all Americans who earn a high enough GPA. President Obama says access to some higher education is necessary in today’s knowledge-based economy. I completely agree with this statement and would love to see this part of his plan become a reality. Education provides us with knowledge about the world and ourselves. By providing a free two-year college education we are investing in human capital.
Ludia worked with The Food Project through high year in the youth programs (Seed, Dirt, and Root) and after graduating from high school, continued working with The Food Project seasonally as a staff member for 2 years. She said, “I loved being able to teach and learn through this common ground of food. It was an inspiring and transformative experience. I wanted to continue my work with this organization and with other individuals who shared my passion for youth development. The Massachusetts Promise Fellowship (MPF) is a perfect fit. I heard about the fellowship through my supervisor John Wang, The Food Project Programs and Community Outreach Manager. I am thankful for two things—that I am able to devote a year of service as a Massachusetts Promise Fellow and that I am intersecting with incredible youth members who are passionate, engaging, and thoughtful. These youth are the reasons why I serve. “