Disabled Individual Receives NC State Senate Opportunity
July 17, 2012
Aaron Hoefs is a young man from Haywood County who follows politics and deeply cares about having an active community voice. He is a member of Partners and Policy (a group that educates on governmental processes and issues) and the North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities. Aaron is an adult with developmental disabilities, and he regularly attends vocational training at Haywood Vocational Opportunities.
This summer Aaron had the unique opportunity to serve as an intern for Senator Jim Davis in Raleigh, North Carolina. This past winter, Senator Davis contacted HVO while contemplating selection of a summer intern. Phyllis Brooks, Vice President of Employment & Training of HVO, promoted Aaron as the ideal candidate for this opportunity because of his political and personal interests.
Since his selection, Senator Davis has reported Aaron as the first person with a disability to serve as an intern on the senate floor. According to Aaron’s parents, many senators who talked to Aaron were “excited to have met him” and commented on his wonderful disposition. Additionally, Aaron was invited to speak to a group of officials in Senator Davis’ office. He was able to share important issues, including the need for increased public transportation and more opportunities for disadvantaged individuals to attend vocational facilities like HVO.
While serving as an intern, Aaron toured interesting places including the Capitol Building and the Museums of Science and History. Other highlights included being formally presented by Senator Davis with a certificate of appreciation before the Senate, meeting the Sergeant of Arms and Head of Security for the Senate (a former Navy Seal and FBI agent), and eating lunch with many other state Senators. Aaron explains he most enjoyed understanding the operations of government and sitting in Senator Davis’ chair. He upheld the traditional duties of an intern which included delivering papers for signatures and sorting documents.
HVO congratulates Aaron on his excellent representation of Haywood County, and commends him on his courage to address the important issues faced by persons with disabilities.