On Saturday December 2nd, I was given the 2017 Regis F. Groff Youth Award. Receiving this award was one of the most ecstatic times of my life. The award was given to me by the National Black Caucus of State Legislators. This year’s event was the first time the event was here in Indianapolis, since 19 years. The Regis F. Groff Foundation was created in October 2014 to celebrate the life and legacy of the honorable, Regis F. Groff. To exemplify the life’s work of Regis Groff, the mission of the Regis F. Groff Foundation (RFGF) is to continue the legacy of public service, the passion for education, and the unyielding determination to help young people change the trajectory of their lives and their world.
When I first received the call about my acknowledgement, an extreme rush of disbelief ran through me. It was hard to cope with, but I could only respond so immediately! I needed to find a suit for the award show. I had 3 days from the time of the phone call to the day of the award ceremony to get fully prepared. Preparing for the event was one of the hardest preparations I had to go through in my life, because I knew the extreme importance of this event. I had to set a great impression especially since I would be around all of these important political people. Nevertheless, the event was held at one of the most expensive hotels in the midwest, the JW Marriott.
According to the NBCSL website, the NBCSL’s Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) is considered to be one of the premier conferences on critical African-American policy issues. Each year, hundreds of African-American legislators, along with advocates, policy experts, corporate executives, and community leaders attend the ALC to discuss and champion resolutions to address the nation’s most pressing issues affecting African Americans and other marginalized communities. Being invited to this event was an extreme honor, and according to these expectations held by the NBCSL I knew I had to set the stage. The hotel that we were in, the JW Marriott, hotel in the heart of downtown Indianapolis soars 33 stories above the city. Being 33 stories high over the city of Indianapolis was an extreme excitement itself.
A great fact to my accomplishment, is that I was the first midwest winner of this profound award. The goal of RFGF is to financially assist graduating students from Denver Public Schools who have exhibited a genuine interest in government and public policy and foster a new generation of leaders who will work to improve the world around them, but I’m not from Denver. My movement of We LIVE Indy was so strong and powerful, that I was given this award despite being so many miles away from the originators. When I walked up to receive the award I was so ecstatic. To conclude my total joy, I guess you can say I was happy enough that I have yet to not sleep with my new all glass trophy!