Asmae El Hajji – Office of Congressman Jim McGovern

Covid-19 has changed our lives, experiences and affected our opportunities. 

So it did with our professional fellowship; it just went virtual! 

Without a doubt, a genuine physical connection and discovering places and spaces were missing, but I strongly believe the meetings were as interesting and exciting as they might have been if they were in person. 

As planned, my fellowship at Congressman Jim McGovern’s Office started in February. Thanks to the amazing support of my host Mr. Jon Niedzielski I had the opportunity to learn about the congressman’s office projects and advocacies, participate in several meetings and virtual events such as a virtual celebration of Tibetan Policy and Support Act, Proven Strategies in Achieving Diversity in Construction Webinar, a meeting with the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission team, and a staff meeting of the Congressman’s office personnel. These several meetings shaped my perception of the culture, and dynamics and helped me dive into the environment putting aside all physical barriers.  

The other meetings organized by my host organization were with NGOs and organizations working on youth empowerment, training, and employability, and inclusivity, which is the focus of my action plan. I was amazed and learned a lot from the initiatives taken up by JobCorps, Mass Hire, African Community Education, and the Regional Environmental Council. They build on the education and capacity-building of relatively different categories of youth to help them join the job market and enhance their employability and careers. Representatives of these organizations were extremely helpful and generous, sharing all the information I needed. Some of them knew much about Morocco! Several times we exchanged some Darija words (Shukran bezzaf – Thanks a lot, Inchallah – If God Wants)