I attended ICPES the summer of 2005 – because I enjoyed myself and the company of the students there so much, I wanted to stay involved with TFAS after I graduated.
I moved back home to Minnesota and when the opportunity arose for a TFAS happy hour in Minneapolis, I was more than eager to attend. While there, I met a gal named Jillian Barber, who was an ICPES alumna from 2006.
In our conversations, we discovered that we both were working at the Minnesota State Capitol and hadn’t even known it!
From then on, we visited each other in between votes and other important happenings at the Capitol.
After the session ended, Jillian left the Minnesota State Capitol and moved to D.C. to serve as a Program Advisor to ICPES for the summer of 2007. After her time with TFAS, Jillian got a job with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Office and now permanently lives in Washington.
Throughout it all, we kept in touch and now whenever I travel to D.C. we make it a point to meet up and catch up about our lives. Which is a great thing since my job with the Customs and Border Protection requires me to travel to Washington at least once a year!
Without TFAS, Jillian and I likely would have never met despite living in the same state and working in the same building and I would have never gained that friend.
In addition, Jillian’s is not the only friendship I have gained through TFAS. To name a few of my fellow TFAS alumni and friends that keep me active and involved in politics and policy, Manjiri Mannino (B 05), Michelle Chikaonda (E 05), and the love of my life, Luke Phillips (E 05), who is currently serving our country in the United States Marine Corps.
Do you have an “It’s a TFAS World” story? Submit it and win prizes! Contact alumni@TFAS.org for more information.