Spring 2016 Online Publication    

    2016-2017 Executive Board Elections
    Message from the Chair
    Federal Relations Press Release
    New Member Perspective
State Updates
Association News
    Electronic Services - Chair in the News
    Fall Conference - Save the Date
    Spring Training

Issue Due Date
Winter 12/01
Spring 04/15
Summer 06/30

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New Member Perspective

Submitted by: James Roye, Member, Federal Relations Committee

It has been said that "In order to discover purpose one must connect to something that is larger than oneself." Moving to a new area for a job comes with its own brand of bewilderment. Your surroundings are new, the people are new, and besides the job, you aren't too sure what to do. Opportunities to link up with genuine people in a constructive atmosphere can be scarce for a newbie. The federal relations committee is full of passionate financial aid administrators that not only care about the issues but take a personal interest in one another. It is this attitude that fosters a genuine sense of connectivity and communitas. It provides an ideal atmosphere for greater purpose to blossom.

While I am new to the DMV, I am definitely not new to the financial aid industry. I was a recipient of federal aid while in college and also worked for 3 years in Michigan as a Financial Aid Officer. However, something I'd never done was taking a trip to Capitol Hill with the purpose of speaking with lawmakers about the laws that regulate the industry in which I serve. The experience was intimidating at first. I would not consider myself a very politically aware person. Traveling to the headquarters of politics as we know it with the purpose of speaking to political affect was a bit unnerving. However with the help of supportive colleagues, I was adding value to the conversations before I realized it.

This committee gives you a seat at the table of the decision makers. I felt intimidated because I didn't consider myself political. I didn't appreciate the nexus of being a practitioner in a highly regulated field and how my input could inform the political process. America's democracy though sometimes flawed is still a democracy. What the people think matters and has the possibility of becoming the rule of law. Recently in a synopsis of organization activity given by the committee leaders, it was reported that the bills the committee opposed did not pass the Maryland House! I'm proud to be a part of the process now, and Kudos to my team, the Tri-State Federal Relations Committee.

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