By Daniel Heimpel
The event, which draws stars from entertainment and D.C.’s political elite, always fills the cavernous Ronald Reagan Building on Pennsylvania Avenue, providing a suitable stage for some real heroes.
One of these was Amnoni Myers, a 26-year-old member of CCAI’s 2014 Foster Youth Internship Program (FYI). I remember her taking the stage, somewhere in between U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), to tell the crowd about the FYI program.
For Amnoni, CCAI’s marquee program meant interning for U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and contributing to the increasingly influential policy report that the foster youth interns produce every summer. In that report, Amnoni drew from a robust body of research sparked by the 1998 Adverse Childhood Experiences Study to deliver a compelling case for increased efforts to make the foster care system “trauma-informed.”
On stage at the Reagan Building, Amnoni described her experience and told the crowd that she had applied for an internship at the White House. Whoops and applause rose from the hundred or more tables tightly spaced across the floor.
Last week, Amnoni stopped by my office in San Francisco, with some good news in hand. In January, she will move back to D.C. to start that White House internship with the Domestic Policy Council.
Instead of brimming with pride, Amnoni was sanguine about the opportunity. Having come up in foster care, many of her peers and extended family never had the chance at an internship at the White