My trip to the Nation's Capital and the Capital of Alabama

By Nicole Renard
Distinguished Young Woman of America for 2013
On January 12, Megan and I flew out to Washington, D.C. When I found out she had lived there for 8 years I knew I would be in for a treat. As soon as we got to the hotel, I was able to visit with Amy Goodman, a former America’s Junior Miss, and her daughter, Fiona. I still can’t believe I’m a part of such a unique history and sisterhood!
Nicole, Amy Goodman, and her daughter, Fiona
Our first day in D.C. we had a wonderful tour of Mt. Vernon and during lunch, our tour guide wiggled her way into the kitchen and came out with the restaurant’s signature recipes for me. It pays to have connections ūüėČ I can’t wait to try them when I get home! Then, we were able to meet the CEO of National Public Radio, Paul Haaga, and tour their facilities. Since the weather was so nice, Megan and I walked from the Capitol to the Washington Monument, chatting the whole time and doing some quality people watching. She knows where all of the good restaurants are so every meal we ate there was practically perfect in every way.


Nicole at Mount Vernon

On the second day I geared up for a long day on the Hill, where I met with Senator Patty Murray (WA), 
Senator¬†Jeff Sessions (AL),¬†Senator¬†Richard Shelby (AL),¬†Congressman¬†Bradley Byrne (AL), and a few of¬†Senator¬†Maria Cantwell’s staffers to educate them about Distinguished Young Women. We also did a tour of the Capitol.
Nicole and Senator Murray
Nicole and Senator Sessions
Nicole and Congressman Byrne
Day 3 began with a trip to the Newseum. A broadcasters dream! Walking through six levels of history and artifacts of all things pertaining to news and media was so fascinating. We also went to the Museum of American History and Natural History. In the afternoon I met with the congressman from my district, Doc Hastings, and then went to the Lincoln Memorial where we were able to see the President fly in on Marine One and land at the White House. We ended our day shopping in Georgetown and getting cupcakes, of course. I am so excited I was able to travel to D.C. and share the mission of Distinguished Young Women with our nation’s¬†representatives. Hopefully, they understand how crucial it is to young women in our country!
Nicole having fun at the Newseum
Nicole and Congressman Hastings
Then it was back to Montgomery where we stayed for the weekend to support all the young women participating in the Distinguished Young Women of Alabama program. There, I was able to appear on a local news station and was also interviewed during the program’s final show. Meeting all the girls was such a blessing because they inspire me to do what I do. Distinguished Young Women brings together each state’s best and brightest young women, so to see all of the ones from Alabama in one place, was so motivating. I wish every one of them could go to Nationals. After that, Megan and I drove back to Mobile for an exciting week that wrapped up my month-long stay in the South. Stay tuned!
Appearing on Montgomery’s news station, WSFA 12
Nicole speaking about her year as the Distinguished Young Woman of America for 2013
Nicole with the Distinguished Young Woman of Alabama, Madeline Powell
Love always,
Nicole Renard is a college freshman at Chapman University in Orange, California majoring in TV Broadcast Journalism. Originally from Kennewick, Washington, Nicole was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Washington for 2013 and the Distinguished Young Woman of America for 2013. Learn more about Nicole here!

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