Use Your Voice!

As an eighteen year old, sometimes I am not taken seriously by adults. I am sure some of my fellow teen titleholders have had similar experiences. It is hard for someone of any age to speak up about issues they feel our important. It's even harder to go to elected officials and give your opinion and try to influence their vote. However, despite your fear I encourage you to. Once you make an appointment and get in the conference room, it isn't as intimidating as it seems. However, here are a few tips on lobbying for your cause.

Be Prepared:

Representatives and Senators ask the tough questions. They have experience with people coming in and speaking to them about a lot of issues. Therefore they typically know what to ask. Make sure to be prepared and cover your bases before stepping into their offices.

Leave Behind Packet:

Create a folder of materials to leave behind in their office. This should include a simple one page document explaining the issue and what you would like them to help with as well as something with bold graphics that are eye catching. I have seen some large corporations even leave a small gift such as a mini flashlight with their logo or contact information on it. This is completely optional, I have lobbied many times without leaving a gift and have still gotten support for my topic.

Dress Appropriately:

Senators and Representatives come to work everyday in a suit or nice shirt and tie with slacks. They take their work seriously so, your attire should match that type of atmosphere. I like to be in a professional looking dress that covers or in a suit of some sort. If you walk in looking professional then they will take you a lot more seriously.

I am excited to see what amazing thing you all will be lobbying for! I hope this helps you walk in with confidence.

"Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds." -Orison Swett Marden

Garin Harris
Miss Teen International 2016


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